Lynnwood Link light rail to receive $100 million federal grant

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With Congressional approval of the Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations Bill, Sound Transit will receive $100 million in federal funds for its Lynnwood Link Extension that will begin construction next year. The funding is the first installment of a potential $1.174 billion full funding grant agreement for the project, which in 2023 will extend light rail service from Northgate to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood. The President is expected to sign the bill into law this week.

Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said this can allow Sound Transit to move light rail plans forward with confidence.

“Now in final design, Lynnwood Link is slated to start construction next year, with planned completion in 2023,” Somers said. “Maintaining promised federal funding is critical to keeping this voter-approved project on track.”

“Communities in Washington state and across our country deserve a federal government that not only partners with them on infrastructure projects, but also one that gives transit agencies the certainty they need to carry out long-term projects,” said Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate committee that oversees transportation funding. “I’m glad Congress was able to come together on this bipartisan deal to keep current projects on track, and I look forward to continuing to fight for investments that allow communities to plan, create jobs, improve public transportation, and move our economy forward.”

Congress approved $100 million in Federal Fiscal Year 2017 funding as part of a $1.174 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Capital Investment Grant Program, also known as the “New Starts” program. Engineering approval by the FTA last year enabled the agency to move forward with final engineering work on the extension and gave the project its second-highest possible rating under its competitive grant process. The $1.174 billion FFGA is scheduled to be executed in 2018, the same year Lynnwood Link construction is slated to begin.

The FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program has been a significant source of funding for the light rail system. Lynnwood Link would be the third light rail project to receive an FFGA.

The $54 billion system expansion approved by voters last November assumes an additional $4.7 billion in federal funding, most of which is from the FTA Capital Investment Funds program.

Trains on the Lynnwood Link Extension will run along the I-5 corridor from Northgate to Lynnwood with four new stations including Northeast 145th Street, Northeast 185th Street, the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center at 236th Street Southwest and at the Lynnwood Transit Center. The project will be built to accommodate the potential for future stations at Northeast 130th Street in Seattle and 220th Street Southwest in Mountlake Terrace. New parking structures at 145th, 185th, and Lynnwood Transit Center will add approximately 1,500 park and ride spaces in the corridor as part of the project.

Construction on the 8.5-mile long light rail extension is scheduled to begin in 2018.

By 2021, Sound Transit will complete light rail to the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate. In 2023 trains will reach Mercer Island, Bellevue, Overlake/Redmond, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood. From there, Sound Transit will keep building until the agency has completed the 116-mile system. Next up will be extending light rail to Federal Way and downtown Redmond in 2024. From there, continuing expansions will focus on Tacoma, West Seattle, Ballard, Everett, South Kirkland and Issaquah.

Commuters from the Lynnwood Transit Center will enjoy 13-minute rides to Northgate Mall, 18-minute rides to the U District, 26-minute rides to downtown Seattle and 60-minute rides to Sea-Tac Airport.

More information on the Lynnwood Link Extension is available at soundtransit.org/Lynnwoodextension.

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