Monday, January 30, 2017

Sound Transit selects Federal Way extension alignment

Sound Transit selects Federal Way extension alignment Sound Transit | File photo

Sound Transit’s Board of Directors has chosen an alignment to bring light-rail service to Federal Way.



The route will travel along the west side of Interstate 5 between stations. Representatives say the alignment is intended to integrate with future transit-related developments expected near the stations.

"Identifying a route gives us a clear path forward for bringing light rail to Federal Way by 2024," said Sound Transit Board member and King County Councilmember Peter von Reichbauer. "In just a few years' time, the people of South King County will enjoy the convenience of light rail that thousands of other regional commuters already enjoy."

The route spans nearly eight miles and will travel south from the Angle Lake Station in the city of SeaTac, cross State Route 99 and continue along the south edge of the future SR 509 highway to Interstate 5. The route will travel south from Interstate 5 along the west side of the I-5 freeway.

"South King County desperately needs more public transit to connect people to jobs and schools,” said Dave Upthegrove, Sound Transit Board member and King County Council member. "This is an exciting step forward."

Sound Transit says its board chose the alignment and stations after aggregating public feedback on a Final Environmental Impact Statement released in November 2016. Sound Transit will now request a Record of Decision from the Federal Transit Administration, followed by procurement for a design-build contractor, with construction planned to begin in 2019.  

Sound Transit, King County Metro and the Federal Way School District also signed a Memorandum of Agreement to work toward establishing a transaction with King County Metro that could allow the school district to purchase the nearby Redondo Park-and-Ride property. The current elementary school property is in proximity to the new light-rail station at S. 272nd and could be transferred to King County Metro or Sound Transit for transit-focused development.

"This is a potential win-win-win for all parties involved. Mark Twain Elementary School will gain a better location for expansion; Sound Transit will avoid $30 million in additional cost to the taxpayer, and Federal Way residents will benefit from enhanced transit-oriented development," said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. "Extraordinary creativity and collaboration between the Federal Way Public School District, King County Metro and Sound Transit led to this very positive solution."

A map of the alignment is available here

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