Sound Transit Board identifies preferred alternative for light rail extension to Kent/Des Moines, Federal Way

Publish Date

Project proceeds to final environmental review; Board to select project in late 2016

On July 23, the Sound Transit Board of Directors identified a preferred alternative for extending light rail to Kent/Des Moines and, when funding is available, to Federal Way. The route, with stations near Highline College, South 272nd Street, and the Federal Way Transit Center, would travel along the west side of Interstate 5 between stations and maximize future transit-oriented development around the stations.

The preferred alternative includes three stations: one in Kent/Des Moines on the east side of SR 99, another in Federal Way at the Star Lake park-and-ride at South 272nd Street, and a third at the Federal Way Transit Center. Staff will also evaluate potential modifications in the Kent/Des Moines and Federal Way station areas.

The preferred alternative would extend south from the Angle Lake Station, cross SR 99 and continue along the south edge of the future SR 509 alignment to I-5. It would continue south along the west side of I-5 before transitioning west in the Kent/Des Moines area to serve Highline College. The alignment would continue south along the west side of I-5 to the S 272nd Star Lake Station and terminate at the Federal Way Transit Center.

The Board identified the preferred alternative after receiving public feedback on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in April. The Board’s action today directs project staff to advance design and complete environmental review, during which staff will evaluate potential modifications to alignment and station options.

Among these potential modifications, staff will study ways to optimize the Kent/Des Moines preferred station option between Highline College and 30th Avenue South to facilitate access to Highline College and enhance potential future transit-oriented development in the Midway area.

Staff will also evaluate re-aligning the preferred station option at the Federal Way Transit Center along 23rd Avenue South. This potential change would facilitate multimodal connections to the existing transit center, accommodate a future light rail extension south along I-5 or SR 99, and support the potential for future transit-oriented development downtown.