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Sound Transit clearing Link light rail path

Sound Transit has passed yet another hurdle in its quest to begin Link light-rail service. U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein Oct. 2 dismissed final claims in the lawsuit "Save Our Valley" (SOV) filed against the project — and ruled "with prejudice," precluding SOV from bringing the same claims against Sound Transit in the future.

"We are very pleased by Judge Rothstein’s ruling," said Sound Transit Executive Director Joni Earl in a prepared statement. "This further validates the quality of the work done by Sound Transit staff and increases the momentum for getting started on this critical portion of our integrated transit network."

SOV claimed Sound Transit violated federal environmental, housing and civil rights laws when it planned and designed a light-rail line in the Rainier Valley.

Although Judge Rothstein dismissed most of the charges in July, she allowed claims that Sound Transit had intentionally discriminated against the Rainier Valley community — most of whom are minority and low-income residents — to stand. A trial on that issue is scheduled for later this month.

Still, Link light rail plans are progressing. The board last week identified an initial segment for Central Link, connecting Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/3/2001