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Seattle approves light rail route

The Seattle Sound Transit Board has approved the 'LINK' light rail route from North Seattle to SeaTac (Seattle's airport). The line from SeaTac to Northeast 45th Street/Burke museum is estimated to cost USD1.85 billion with a further extension to Northgate costing USD415 million.

From the southern terminus at South 200th., the line will connect to Sea-Tac International Airport and run through Tukwila and the Rainier Valley on elevated and street-level tracks. It will then pass through Beacon Hill in a tunnel, to the industrial area south of downtown Seattle before continuing north into the existing Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. From Westlake will be a tunnel under First Hill, Capitol Hill and Portage Bay to the University District. It will then go to the Northgate Transit Center on a route that has not yet been decided.

Although the decision of the Board was unanimous there is public opposition from the residents of the Rainier Valley who have been campaigning for the line to be underground rather than surface running along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.

Providing funding can be arranged it is expected that construction would start 2001/2 for completion in 2006.

Further details can be found at www.soundtransit.org

20 November 1999


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