Sound Transit plans to start construction later this year on the Federal Way Link extension between SeaTac and Federal Way. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

Sound Transit plans to start construction later this year on the Federal Way Link extension between SeaTac and Federal Way. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

Sound Transit seeks $790 million federal grant for light rail extension

To help pay for project from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way

Sound Transit will apply later this year for a $790 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help fund the 7.8-mile extension of light rail from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way.

The cost of the project is estimated at $3.16 billion, according to Sound Transit documents. The Sound Transit Board on March 28 authorized staff to apply for the federal funds.

“We put in more of our money than federal money on these projects,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff told the board. “We are asking for 25 percent (of the project) from federal funds, so we are hoping that will be looked at favorably.”

Sound Transit receives most of its funding from voter-approved sales taxes, vehicle tab fees and property taxes. Voters approved the $54 billion ST3 package in 2016. The agency has been successful in previous FTA grant applications, including an award of $1.2 billion last November for the 8.5-mile Lynnwood Link extension from Northgate to Lynnwood.

Sound Transit plans to start construction late this year on the extension to Federal Way from SeaTac, including two light rail stations in Kent and one in Kent, and finish the project in 2024.

Agency staff will prepare the application for funds and apply by Sept. 30.

Sound Transit initially had the project budget at $2.45 billion, but the FTA required additional contingency funds that hiked the cost to $3.16 billion.

“Our hope and expectation is that we not spend any of that $460 million,” Rogoff said.

Unlike the previous two years, Rogoff said President Donald Trump’s proposed budget to Congress for 2019 includes funds for mass transit, as Trump moved away from his stance of no new projects. Rogoff said the grant amounts are not paid out in one year but spread across several years. He said the $1.2 billion for the Lynnwood Link will be paid at $100 million per year for 12 years.

Meanwhile, staff is reviewing three requests for proposals by companies seeking to design and build the Federal Way Link extension. The board expects to award that contract in May.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Owner of proposed Enumclaw Recycling Center ordered to close Auburn location

King County has been trying to shutter the Buckley Recycle Center for nearly 15 years, and claims the lack of progress at the Enumclaw site shows the owner has little interest in complying with county regulations.

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue seeks levy on Aug. 4 primary ballot

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Firefighters treat 3 in head-on collision | Fire blotter

Reporter staff Between June 29 and July 5, the Valley Regional Fire… Continue reading

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Courtesy of the Auburn School District
There will be school this fall in Auburn

The district is working on answering the question: What will it look like?

Pills stolen, windows smashed | Auburn police blotter

Between June 27 and July 3, the Auburn Police Department responded to… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

Most Read