Federal government signs agreement to supply $1.2B for Lynnwood Light Rail Project

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration signed a $1.17 billion grant agreement Thursday for the construction of the Lynnwood Link Light Rail project.

The agreement had originally been announced by Sound Transit officials in November.

In addition to the Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, Sound Transit was also approved for up to $658 million in USDOT credit assistance.

The credit assistance will come through the Build America Bureau under the Transportation and Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

"The significant Federal investment announced today will improve mobility for thousands of people in the Puget Sound region and provide greater access to jobs, healthcare, and education, among other important destinations," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a news release.

Once completed, the Lynnwood Link Light Rail Project will help passengers travel all the way to Sea-Tac Airport. Light-rail has already proven to be a popular way to get from Angle Lake near Sea-Tac Airport to Seattle's University District. Sound Transit estimates 68,000 daily riders when the Lynnwood line opens.

"With this extraordinary Federal support, the Lynnwood Link project will provide a light rail connection between North Central Puget Sound and major destinations like Northgate, the University of Washington, Downtown, and Sea-Tac Airport," said FTA acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.

The $1.2 billion in federal money will cover about 36 percent of the cost of the project.

“We were quite anxious especially as budget proposals would come forward from the administration to terminate this funding pipeline but that was largely rejected by Congress and not just Democrats in Congress, said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff in November.

The current schedule calls for light-rail to arrive in Lynnwood by 2024, and Everett by 2036.

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