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Sound Transit's board yesterday selected a site between downtown Bellevue and Redmond, Wash., for a new Link light-rail operations and maintenance satellite facility.The facility, expected to cost $380 million, is necessary for storing, servicing and deploying the agency's increasing train fleet as the Link system expands from 16 to 23 miles by 2023, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.The board's decision followed three years of environmental impact studies and other work to maximize future development around the facility. Four potential sites were studied as part of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was completed in September.The chosen site is located west of 120th Avenue NE, adjacent to existing railroad tracks, and south of SR 520 on land partially owned by Sound Transit. The agency now will seek a "record of decision" from the Federal Transit Administration and begin the final design process.Construction is slated to begin in 2018 and be completed in 2020.Sound Transit's existing light-rail fleet will increase from 62 to 184 vehicles, as the agency prepares to open more than 30 new stations and carry more than 280,000 riders a day by 2030.The existing operations and maintenance facility in Seattle has room to store and maintain 104 light-rail vehicles. It will reach full capacity by 2020, agency officials said.
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