News Releases

Signing of final agreement for Lynnwood Link light rail extension project follows 30-day congressional review period

Sound Transit can start drawing down federal funds for Lynnwood Link project, including $200M in funding already appropriated by Congress

Key federal loan to support Lynnwood Link project also approved

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen (D, WA-2nd), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-7th) applauded the signing of the full funding grant agreement for the Lynnwood Link light rail extension following months of pressure from lawmakers urging U. S. Department of Transportation officials to follow Congressional direction and approve the grant. The final agreement—signed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff—cements a $1.2 billion commitment from the federal government to help fund the Lynnwood Link project, and allows Sound Transit to begin drawing down on $200 million in federal funding already allocated by Congress for the project through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. According to Sound Transit, now that the final agreement is signed and executed, work on the Lynnwood Link light rail extension is slated to begin in early 2019. This critical step comes on the heels of a new $657.9 million direct loan also approved through the Department’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program in support of the Lynnwood Link project.

“Just in time for the holidays, this major federal investment is an incredible gift to Puget Sound to help address congestion on our roads and connect residents to jobs, schools, and businesses in King and Snohomish counties. I commend Secretary Chao and the FTA for working with us to move this vital project forward, and I look forward to continuing our work in Congress to get this project across the finish line,” said Senator Murray.

“The $1.2 billion commitment from the Department of Transportation is an important next step in supporting local jobs and the regional economy,” said Representative Larsen. “The Lynnwood Link Extension will address traffic congestion in Snohomish County and provide a reliable commuting option for an additional 67,000 daily riders who are traveling to work, school and home. Washington state residents have voted three times to fund Sound Transit’s expansion projects, the majority of which are self-funded.”

“This is incredible news for over 68,500 commuters in King and Snohomish counties. A successful public transit system is key to connecting our communities, strengthening our economy and creating a greener, cleaner infrastructure for Washington,” said Representative Jayapal. “I look forward to continuing working with the Washington delegation to ensure that our state is livable, sustainable and welcoming.”

BACKGROUND:

The 8.5 mile Lynnwood Link light rail extension project will connect King and Snohomish Counties, helping address concerns over increasing congestion and continued regional growth with an estimated one million new residents expected in Puget Sound by 2040. The lawmakers have all been strong advocates in Congress for federal investments in Washington state infrastructure priorities, writing to Secretary Chao in June to urge her to complete the full funding grant agreement for the Lynnwood Link extension and follow through on her repeated promises to uphold Congressional direction to approve federal investments affecting projects like Lynnwood Link. Additionally:

  • In the Senate, Senators Murray and Cantwell have long fought to strengthen the Capital Investment Grants program—helping successfully pass two consecutive spending bills that have rejected President Trump’s attempts to slash its funding. Senators Murray and Cantwell have repeatedly pressed senior Department of Transportation officials on funding for the Lynnwood Link project. Senator Murray pushed Secretary Chao during a Senate hearing in April to move forward with additional CIG awards with federal investments already provided by Congress to help support public transportation projects like the Lynnwood Link extension. Senator Cantwell also pressed Secretary Chao for more Sound Transit funding during the secretary’s confirmation hearing.
  • In the House, Representative Larsen, the only member of the Washington state delegation on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been a fierce advocate for federal investment to develop vital transportation projects throughout Washington state. Larsen has repeatedly pressed Department of Transportation officials, including Secretary Chao, to execute the Full Funding Grant Agreement for Lynnwood Link, which will benefit the local community.