Big changes on Sound Transit’s Federal Way Link Extension

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Sound Transit
The Washington State Supreme Court has struck down Initiative 976.
Sound Transit

On Oct. 7 Sound Transit’s Federal Way Link Extension marked the beginning of building the light-rail guideway with construction of drill shafts at the site of the future Kent/Des Moines Station. Crews have spent months demolishing buildings, removing trees, relocating underground utilities and clearing and grading. Some of the most significant work has been at the Midway landfill where 73 percent of the waste material has been excavated and replaced with clean fill material for construction of at-grade tracks. 

“Commuters who travel I-5 in South King County can now see changes to the landscape as our crews make progress on the Federal Way Link Extension,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “In just a few years, this new light-rail extension will transform the way people travel to and from South King County and provide countless people greater access to job and housing opportunities.”

By 2024, Federal Way Link and other extensions currently under construction will expand the region’s light-rail system from 22 miles to 62 miles and from 22 stations to 50 stations. After Federal Way Link opens in 2024, riders will enjoy fast, frequent and reliable service between South King County, the University of Washington, downtown Seattle, the Eastside, Sea-Tac Airport and Lynnwood. The extension includes three new stations serving Kent, Des Moines and Federal Way. 

Kiewit Infrastructure West is the design-build contractor for the Federal Way Link Extension. The $3.1 billion project budget includes up to $790 million from a full funding grant agreement executed by the Federal Transit Administration. In addition, the U.S. DOT’s Build America Bureau executed a $629.5 million low-interest loan supporting the project. That loan was one of four loans captured in a Master Credit Agreement reached between Sound Transit and the U.S. DOT at the end of 2016. The one-of-its-kind agreement should save regional taxpayers between $200 million and $300 million through lower interest costs. 

For more on the Federal Link Extension visit www.soundtransit.org/fwlink.

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Categories: Intercity, Passenger, Rail News, Railroad News, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Track Construction
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