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Sound Transit approves East Link light-rail changes, issues sustainability report

Sound Transit's board yesterday approved changes to an alignment for the East Link light-rail extension in Bellevue, Wash., that will cut project costs by $30 million to $53 million.

The changes support Sound Transit's partnership with the city to build a tunnel in downtown Bellevue, and will enable the agency to move the entire alignment into the final design process, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.

The vote also positions the board to take action within the next two months to authorize the start of property acquisition for constructing East Link, they said.

Sound Transit is preparing to begin construction in 2015 and launch service in 2023.

Also yesterday, Sound Transit released its annual Sustainability Progress Report, which highlights accomplishments in 2012. Sustainability steps taken last year increased Sound commuter rail's fuel efficiency per mile of service by 4 percent; reduced water use at maintenance facilities by 12 percent; and increased recycling and composting at administrative facilities by 22 percent. In addition, the agency launched efficiency upgrades at four transit facilities.

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More News from 4/26/2013