Location, location, location means more, more and more money for Sound Transit regarding the light-rail line extension to Ballard, Wash., and West Seattle.
Sound Transit announced the construction of a line connecting Federal Way and the Tacoma Dome and a maintenance facility in South King County has increased more than 50 percent. Rising real estate costs and a spike in construction costs are behind the spike.
Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff admits the numbers are sobering, but not catastrophic. Rogoff says the agency will attempt to control costs by building in phases when funding becomes available.
Price projections for land made back in 2015 for the rail lines involving the West Seattle-to-Ballard route were significantly lower, and that was before a $54 billion transit ballot measure was approved by voters. Officials were expecting both lines would cost just over $7 billion. However, the price now is above the $12 billion mark.
Sound Transit also has discovered that some contractors increased their bids on other projects and project completion times were stretched in an effort to attract workers.
Storm water management, environmental issues and other requests at the local level also are driving up the price.
Sound Transit also must decide on whether or not it will move forward on tunnel construction on the Ballard-to-West Seattle lines, which could drive the price even higher.