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Sound Transit has scheduled three open houses this month as part of its early scoping work for light-rail extensions to West Seattle and Ballard, Washington. The hearings will allow residents to offer opinions on the extensions' proposed route and station locations. The meetings will be held Feb. 13, 15, and 20.Through early 2019, Sound Transit officials will work with stakeholders and the public to identify preferred alternatives that will be evaluated in the environmental impact statement.The agency aims to identify a preferred alternative earlier in the environmental process to speed up the project timeline, Sound Transit officials said in a press release. The West Seattle Link extension calls for building 4.7 miles of elevated light-rail from downtown Seattle to West Seattle's Alaska Junction neighborhood, while the Ballard Link extension includes 7.1 miles of light rail from downtown Seattle to Ballard's Market Street area. The Ballard project would include a rail tunnel and an elevated guideway.Planning for both projects is expected to wrap up by 2022, according to Sound Transit's community engagement guide. The West Seattle project would open to passengers in 2030, while the Ballard project would open in 2035.In September 2017, Sound Transit's board established a preliminary engineering budget for the projects.
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