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Sound Transit board approves MOU for East Link tunnel


Sound Transit’s board has endorsed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines an agreement to fund construction of a rail tunnel under downtown Bellevue, Wash., Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Joni Earl wrote in her latest “CEO Report.”

Under the agreement, the city of Bellevue will provide $100 million up front. The city also agreed to a $60 million contingent contribution that would help fund the $276 million additional cost of building the tunnel. The pact also outlines a partnership for the agency and city to work together on East Link’s final design, permitting and construction to manage project costs and impacts, and to share the additional cost of building the tunnel, Earl wrote.

East Link’s final design is scheduled to get under way next year, with construction starting in 2015 and service launching in 2023.

Bellevue city officials now will consider the MOU. Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson has indicated the city plans to take action on the MOU on or before Nov. 14, ahead of Sound Transit’s board meeting on Nov. 17, Earl wrote.

Sound Transit’s board recently submitted an application for a $24 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery III, or TIGER III, grant to help pay for accelerated construction of light rail from Sea-Tac Airport to a new station at South 200th Street.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/31/2011