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Sound Transit's University Link light-rail extension will open six months ahead of schedule on March 19, the agency announced yesterday.The project is more than $150 million under budget, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.
The 3.1-mile underground extension includes stations on Seattle's Capitol Hill and at the University of Washington near Husky Stadium. Trains making the eight-minute trip from the university to downtown Seattle will bypass some of the most congested traffic in the region, they said.In 2009, Sound Transit secured an $813 million federal grant for the $1.8 billion project. Other funding sources include revenue from a sales tax and a motor vehicle excise tax, according to the agency.The agency has coordinated the University Link opening with King County Metro, which is planning a major restructure of bus routes in Northeast Seattle to serve the University of Washington Station and improve connections, Sound Transit officials said.In addition, Sound Transit has launched a new website showcasing interiors of the new stations and providing riders with other information.This fall, the agency will open the 1.6-mile light-rail extension from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to a new station near South 200th Street in SeaTac, Wash.By 2023, Sound Transit will operate nearly 50 miles of light-rail lines.Map of the University Link light-rail extensionSource: Sound Transit
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