Despite the passage of Initiative 976 in the state of Washington, Sound Transit is still taking in major funding for light rail projects. The U.S. DOT just finalized $1.4 billion worth of funding for construction of a 7.8-mile Federal Way light rail extension in the Seattle area. There will be a $790 million grant and a $629 million low-interest loan, and construction is set to begin in early 2020.
The line will serve three new stations—Kent/Des Moines, South 272 Street and at the Federal Way Transit Center. Demolition and utility work was completed in the fall.
The extension is badly needed in South King County. Traffic congestion on I-5 is one of the worst in the nation. Construction should be complete by 2024.
The Federal Way light rail extension will be another section of a 116-mile network Sound Transit hopes to have finished by 2041. Initiative 976 was approved by voters in November and puts a $30 cap on car tab fees in the state of Washington. Car tab fees are being used to help fund the Sound Transit endeavor. The agency has been talking about next steps following I-976 approval.
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