Washington State: Sound Transit to receive $790 million federal grant, $629 million loan for light rail extension

Members of Washington’s congressional delegation announced Monday actions by the U.S. Department of Transportation to award a $790 million grant and $629 million low-interest loan to enable Sound Transit to start building light rail from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way early next year.

The Federal Transit Administration on Dec. 13 transmitted to Congress a $790 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for Sound Transit’s Federal Way Link Extension, starting a 30-day notification period. The action highlights that the administration intends to execute the grant once the period is complete.

Also last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation formally notified Congress of its intent to close a $629.5 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the project. This represents the fourth and final loan under a $1.99 billion TIFIA Master Credit Agreement which Sound Transit signed with USDOT’s Build America Bureau at the end of 2016. The agreement will save regional taxpayers between $200 and $300 million in borrowing costs over the life of the bonds.