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Friday, December 27, 2013    

Sound Transit elects new board leadership

Sound Transit's board has elected King County Executive Dow Constantine to serve as chair for the next two years, starting Jan. 1.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Everett City Councilmember Paul Roberts will serve as vice chairs, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.

"We must keep University Link on track to open earlier than planned, and keep the extensions of light rail pushing forward on time and on budget," Constantine said. "The update of our long-range plan will also inform how we deliver high-capacity transit throughout the Puget Sound region."

In 2014, crews will begin tunneling as part of the largest construction contract in the agency's history: continuing further north in a tunnel beneath Seattle's University of Washington and Roosevelt areas to Northgate, Sound Transit officials said.

In 2015, the agency will begin construction on the East Link light-rail extension to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond, Wash., while closing in on extending current Link light-rail service one stop further south from the airport, to South 200th Street.

Sound Transit is working to establish final routes for extending light rail to the Lynnwood and Kent/Des Moines areas, and further south to Federal Way subject to identifying funding.

The board also will explore long-term expansion priorities, including the details and timing of a potential Sound Transit 3 ballot measure that responds to expected population growth of nearly 30 percent by 2035.

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