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Sound Transit OKs $1.6 billion budget for 2017


Sound Transit’s board yesterday approved a $1.6 billion budget for 2017 that'll pave the way for light-rail construction.

The plan provides $1.2 billion for light-rail and other system expansions, including work to begin implementing various projects that Seattle-area voters approved last month.

In addition, the 2017 budget emphasizes "intensified construction work" toward the 2023 opening of the East Link light-rail project, including the scheduled January start of mining a short tunnel through downtown Bellevue, Wash.

The agency also will work toward the 2023 opening of the light-rail extension to Lynnwood, Wash., and the 2024 openings to Federal Way and downtown Redmond, Wash.

The budget provides funding for various Sounder commuter-rail projects, as well, including $38 million to complete the Tacoma Trestle and $4.7 million to finish the Sounder Yard expansion.

"In 2017, Sound Transit will make significant progress toward delivering infrastructure expansions that will boost our region's economy while giving commuters a reliable and desirable alternative to the worsening congestion on our roadways," said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff in a press release.