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December 17, 2019

USDOT grants $790m for Federal Way light rail extension

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will give a $790m grant for Sound Transit's Federal way light rail extension.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will give a $790m grant for Sound Transit’s Federal way light rail extension.

This grant will be given alongside a $629m low-interest loan to begin construction work on the project in early 2020.

The Federal Way link extension is a planned 12.5km-long light rail link between Angle Lake Station in SeaTac and the Federal Way Transit Centre in Federal Way. The project also includes the construction of three new stations on the link.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sent a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) of $790m to Congress for the project. This began a 30-day notification period.

Additionally, the USDOT informed Congress of its plans to grant a $629.5m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan.

This marks the fourth and final loan under the $1.99bn TIFIA Master Credit Agreement. The Build America Bureau of USDOT signed this agreement in 2016.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said: “A year ago, Sound Transit secured a $1.2 billion FFGA grant for Lynnwood Link. Now, we have secured a commitment from the administration to also fund Federal Way Link thanks to the persistent efforts of our congressional delegation.

“I also want to thank Secretary Chao and Acting Administrator Williams for their support on expanding transit options in our region that will help commuters escape ever-worsening gridlock.”

Before the approval of FFGA, Congress gave its approval for $100m in FY 2019 Capital Investment Grant funding, which will form the grant’s first instalment.

Demolition and utility relocation work started this year and construction will begin next year.

In April, Sound Transit secured key approval from the FTA to advance the Federal Way Link Extension to the engineering phase.

Last year, Sound Transit determined the scope, schedule and baseline budget of the extension to be $2.45bn.

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