A map of where Sound Transit plans to build a second garage for train commuters. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

A map of where Sound Transit plans to build a second garage for train commuters. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

Sound Transit plans community meeting in Kent about parking garage, light rail

Jan. 14 discussion of Sounder garage, light rail extension

Residents can hear from Sound Transit about plans for a second Sounder train parking garage in downtown Kent as well as the light rail extension across the West Hill.

The community meeting is from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, at the city’s Centennial Building, 400 W. Gowe St. Sound Transit Community Outreach specialists Melanie Mayock and Jefferson Rose will present information and take questions about the new garage and Federal Way light rail extension.

Sound Transit will build a new parking garage at East James Street and Railroad Avenue North and improve pedestrian, bicycle and bus access in the area to give more people convenient access to the Sounder train. The garage, with approximately 530 parking spaces (460 net new), is anticipated to open in 2023.

The estimated cost of the project is $65 million, paid for by Sound Transit property and sales taxes and vehicle license fees approved by voters. Voters initially approved the second garage as part of the ST2 measure in 2008. Voters approved more funds for Sound Transit as part of the $54 billion ST3 measure in 2016 for light rail, train and bus projects throughout the region.

Sound Transit is building a second garage because the existing Kent Station garage often fills up early in the morning. Construction on the garage should start in 2021.

Sound Transit will spend about $2.54 billion to extend light rail 7.8 miles from SeaTac to Federal Way. The agency plans to start construction in fall 2019 and finish the project in 2024. The extension will go from SeaTac’s Angle Lake Station to the Federal Way Transit Center. New stations are planned for near South 236th Street and Pacific Highway South in Kent, South 272nd Street near Interstate 5 in Kent, and near South 320th Street at the Federal Way Transit Center.

The agency plans to build 500 parking spots in a garage in Kent/Des Moines, 1,100 spots in a 272nd Street garage, and add 400 spaces in a new garage to its existing 1,200 spots at the Federal Way Transit Center.

The route will go from the Angle Lake Station to I-5 and along the west side of the freeway until heading west toward Pacific Highway South in Kent, then back along I-5 to get to Federal Way. About 60 percent of the line will be at-grade and about 40 percent on an elevated guideway.

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