The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a $1.17 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) for construction of the Lynnwood Link light rail project through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. Sound Transit is also approved for up to $658 million in USDOT credit assistance through the Build America Bureau under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.
“The significant Federal investment announced today will improve mobility for thousands of people in the Puget Sound region and provide greater access to jobs, healthcare, and education, among other important destinations,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.
In September, Lynnwood Link received a funding allocation of $100 million in FY 2018 CIG funds.
Under the TIFIA program, Sound Transit is also approved for up to $658 million in USDOT credit assistance through the Build America Bureau. The TIFIA program seeks to leverage limited federal resources and stimulate capital market investment in transportation infrastructure by providing credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to projects of national or regional significance.
“With this extraordinary federal support, the Lynnwood Link project will provide a light rail connection between North Central Puget Sound and major destinations like Northgate, the University of Washington, Downtown, and Sea-Tac Airport,” FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said.
Lynnwood Link will expand light rail service between Seattle and some of its most populated northern suburbs, including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood. It includes 8.5 miles of grade-separated light rail, as well as four new stations; 34 vehicles; 1,500 parking spaces; and a new maintenance and storage facility. It will connect to the broader Link light rail network, including the existing system from Angle Lake to the University of Washington and the Northgate Link and East Link segments currently under construction.
The CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
This is the fourth FFGA signed under this Administration. Since January 20, 2017, FTA has advanced funding for 17 new CIG projects throughout the nation totaling approximately $4.8 billion in funding commitments. With this FFGA signing, the present administration will have executed 13 CIG funding agreements for $3.3 billion in CIG funding.
The TIFIA loan program is administered by the Build America Bureau, which was established in 2016 by the FAST Act. The Bureau was created to service as a “one-stop shop” to help streamline credit and grant opportunities for communities as they work to fund infrastructure improvements. The Bureau also provides technical assistance and encourages innovative approaches to project planning, financing, delivery and monitoring. To date, the TIFIA credit program has closed $30.8 billion in financings, supporting $111.3 billion in rail, highway and transit projects across the country.
For more information, visit the FTA’s website to see the news release.