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Sound Transit to speed up construction of South Link light-rail extension


Yesterday, Sound Transit’s board approved a plan to accelerate construction of the $383.2 million South Link light-rail extension from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to South 200th Street.

The project, which includes a 1.6-mile elevated guideway and station, now would open in September 2016, four years earlier than envisioned in the voter-approved Sound Transit 2 plan, agency officials said in a prepared statement. Work also would be completed at the same time the University Link service would begin, they said.

The decision to accelerate the process was based on the project’s “readiness” to move forward with final design and construction, potential to increase ridership and capacity for additional parking concurrent with the University Link opening, Sound Transit officials said. The agency also could take advantage of a favorable bidding climate, they added.

By 2018, the South 200th Station is expected to serve 2,700 riders daily.

Sound Transit plans to apply for a federal Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) III grant to help fund the project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/29/2011