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As anticipated, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week that it has provided a package of Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans of up to $3.84 billion for Sound Transit to finance its downtown Redmond Link extension and to refinance an additional five projects.
The USDOT's announcement follows the Seattle-area agency's disclosure in August that the financing would be approved. The total savings to Sound Transit is estimated to be more than $630 million over the life of the loans, said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff in a press release.
The TIFIA loans will replace the current loan for the Sound Transit Northgate Link light-rail extension, which is scheduled to open this fall. This project is a 4.3-mile light rail extension, including three new stations, from the University of Washington north to Northgate.
The TIFIA loans also include refinancing for the East Link, Lynnwood Link and Federal Way Link extensions of light rail as well as the Operations and Management Facility East projects. Additionally, it provides financing for the under-construction downtown Redmond Link light-rail extension.
The projects will provide benefits to the central Puget Sound area, including reduced congestion greenhouse gas emissions, expanded routes and more reliable service, and increased ridership capacity.