Sound Transit recently released a project update about the Federal Way Link extension of light rail from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way.
Two new stations will be built in Kent when construction starts in 2019 to extend light rail 7.8 miles from SeaTac’s Angle Lake Station to the Federal Way Transit Center. One station will go up near South 236th Street and Pacific Highway South and the other one near South 272nd Street and Interstate 5. The new line is expected to open in 2024 at an estimated cost of about $1.5 billion.
Link future route video
To see what the Federal Way Link Extension will look like, check out a video on the Sound Transit website at soundtransit.org/FWextension.
It’s a video animation of the future light rail route, which includes information from project engineers, architects and others. The video features a detailed project overview, including an aerial overview of the future project area.
Request for Qualifications
In April, Sound Transit released a request for qualifications (RFQ) to procure a design-build contractor to finish designing and then construct the entire extension, including the two Kent stations and one in Federal Way.
After companies submit their statements of qualifications for the RFQ, Sound Transit will evaluate and score each submission to determine a short list of qualified design-build firms selected to participate in the request for proposal (RFP) phase of the procurement. Sound Transit’s project team anticipates releasing a RFP to the shortlisted design-build firms in August.
Each firm will have approximately six months to respond to the RFP. Sound Transit in early 2019 will evaluate and score the shortlisted firm’s proposal and select the highest-ranked proposal. After successful completion of negotiations with the top-ranked firm, Sound Transit will then work toward board approval for contract award.
Kent/Des Moines station area
Sound Transit says it is committed to ensuring the Kent/Des Moines station area provides easy and enjoyable access for the community. The elevated station and landscaped pedestrian boulevard will improve access to Highline College and surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.
The design of the station area will include three new streets to promote walking, bicycling, transit, and driving and parking. Sound Transit is also creating two large plaza areas with an urban design that includes landscaping, seating and public art.
Like other Sound Transit stations, the station plaza will be open to street performers or buskers who register online. A second plaza on the opposite side of the station near the garage will include covered spaces where people can enjoy food trucks and other activities.
With its Northwest Modern look and feel and thoughtfully placed art, Sound Transit says the completed station will meet the neighborhood goals for being inviting, nature-inspired and contemporary.
Activities in the corridor
The Federal Way Link Extension project team recently hosted workshops for residents facing project-related relocation. The workshops focused on renters and provided an overview of the Sound Transit relocation program. HomeSight – a local nonprofit that assists first-time homebuyers – also gave a presentation.
The project team will be out and about sharing information at local events and area farmers’ markets.