Next stop: Lynnwood

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Sound Transit Board selects final light rail route through some of the worst traffic in Washington

The Sound Transit Board of Directors today selected the light rail route and station locations for extending light rail north from Seattle to Lynnwood in Snohomish County.

Trains will run along the I-5 corridor from Northgate to the Lynnwood Transit Center with stations at Northeast 145th Street, Northeast 185th Street and the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center at 236th Street Southwest.  A trip from Lynnwood to downtown Seattle will take 28 minutes.

"Expanding light rail to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood will cut through some of the worst traffic congestion in the state and provide mobility for thousands of commuters," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Lynnwood Link is estimated to carry 63,000-74,000 riders each weekday by 2035.

"Every day thousands of commuters from Snohomish County sit on I-5 while getting to and from their jobs in King County," said Sound Transit Vice Chair and Everett City Councilmember Paul Roberts. "Lynnwood Link will give those commuters a fast, reliable trip every day no matter how bad traffic is on I-5."

For more information on the project see: soundtransit.org/Lynnwood-Link-Extension

"This will be a vital lifeline for commuters tired of dealing with traffic and congestion along I-5," said Sound Transit Boardmember and Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling.

The Board also directed staff to plan for future stations at Northeast 130th Street in Seattle and 220th Street Southwest in Mountlake Terrace. The light rail tracks in those areas will be built to accommodate construction of future boarding platforms in a way that would not impact service.

"Light rail is a proven solution to building sustainable communities and moving people quickly and reliably in our growing city," said Sound Transit Boardmember and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.  "I support light rail stations at both 145th Street and 130th Street. A future station at 130th provides opportunity for smart investments in additional housing and increased bus, pedestrian and bike connections to the light rail line. The line through north Seattle must be flexible enough to include the option for additional stops as demand on the system grows."

"With the growth coming to our region over the next 20 years it's important to design our system ready for infill stations like 130th Street so we can continue to expand access to light rail to more neighborhoods," said Sound Transit Boardmember and Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien.

Cost estimates for the 8.5-mile long project range from $1.5 to $1.7 billion. A final budget will be established in 2017 with construction scheduled to begin in 2018 and open for service in 2023.

Lynnwood Link is the northernmost of the more than 30 miles of Sound Transit 2 light rail extensions approved by voters in 2008. By 2023, Sound Transit is also scheduled to open an eastward extension to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake area, and a southward extension to the Kent/DesMoines area. By 2030, Link is expected to carry more than 80 million riders a year.