The Daily Mash-Up

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 This Week's Paper
Sound Transit board backs City recommendation

The Sound Transit Board of Directors selected the Tacoma Link expasion route endorsed by the City Council, passing a milestone that now triggers detailed engineering work.

The board nob now sets Sound Transit staff to do environmental review for the North Downtown Central Corridor, which would run along the Stadium District and onto Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

“We are pleased to be moving the project forward to the project level environmental review phase, though there is more work to be done in finding a financial partner or partners. Still, the selection of E1 as the preferred corridor is an important step in bringing us closer to offering Link light rail to more Tacoma residents, commuters and businesses,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy.

The Board selected the corridor from four options that had risen to the top during an evaluation process that included extensive community involvement from a citizens’ stakeholder group and numerous public meetings.

“The City of Tacoma is pleased with the work accomplished to date in selecting a preferred corridor for the potential expansion of Tacoma Link,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “Thanks to the active involvement of the City Council, a citizens’ stakeholder group, and city residents in an intensive, 10-month public process, we now have a clearer path for making light rail more accessible to more people as ridership on the line continues to grow.”

The 2.3-mile route will be further defined and evaluated as part of the project level environmental review process. Once this environmental review is complete, the Board is expected to take final action on the project route, station locations and project funding.

Construction of the rails requires $50 million from a funding partner or partners and $50 million in federal “Small Starts” grant funding to supplement $50 million in local ST2 revenues. The preliminary estimated cost of the selected corridor is $133 million.

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