News releases

Federal Way Link Extension design-build contract now more than 25% complete

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The design-build contract for the Federal Way Link Extension is more than 25% complete, with final design scheduled to complete by mid-2021. This demonstrates significant progress of the project following the launch of heavy construction in July 2020.

"Community members across the region can watch the rapid construction progress that is now underway and look forward to 2024, when they can ride a light rail network that we’re on track to nearly triple, from 22 to 62 miles. Seven out of eight of our major projects under construction are on or below budget and on or ahead of schedule," said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. "These projects and the voter-approved projects that will follow will be critical both for our mobility and for creating thousands of jobs to help us rebound from the pandemic recession."

Sound Transit broke ground with heavy construction for the Federal Way Link Extension last July following utility and site preparation work that got underway in 2019. Progress to date includes completing 30 of 121 drilled shafts for constructing elevated guideway and station facilities. Last month crews also achieved a major milestone with completion of a bypass route on State Route 99 in SeaTac. The bypass will enable a partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation to build a bridge over the roadway during 2021 and 2022. Aerial footage of the bypass is available here: https://youtu.be/t-BmhUr2wec. More information on the SR 509 project can be found at www.wa.gov/Projects/SR509/completion.

Work is underway on three new light rail stations and will begin on three new garages, which will add 2,000 new parking spaces for riders in Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way. To view a gallery of recent construction photos click here.

Kiewit Infrastructure West Company is the design-build contractor for the $3.1 billion project. It is funded in part by a $790 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration and a $629.5 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

While projects currently in construction continue to move forward on schedule, further voter-approved expansions face an unprecedented and extremely challenging financial environment. A pandemic-driven recession that has severely reduced consumer spending and tax revenues has converged with increased cost estimates driven by real estate and construction market pressures.

The Sound Transit Board has begun a realignment process that is moving forward under a two-pronged approach. The first prong prioritizes aggressively seeking new federal and state funding to help bridge an $11.5 billion affordability gap for completing projects on their original schedules. To the extent that sufficient new resources are not secured, the Board’s second prong, as required by the ST3 Plan, will utilize the plan’s identified tools to ensure affordability under updated projections for current revenue sources.

Information on the realignment process is available at https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/realignment.

Information on the Federal Way Link Extension and other Sound Transit expansions is available at https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion.