Last Hurdle Cleared for Federal Grant to Lynnwood Link Extension; Senators Cantwell and Murray Applaud Major New Investment

Final agreement for Lynnwood Link light rail extension project submitted to Congress, kicking off last 30-day review before agreement is signed and executed

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Following months of pressure urging U. S. Department of Transportation officials to follow Congressional direction and approve federal infrastructure investments in Washington state, today U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) cheered the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) submission of the full funding grant agreement for the Lynnwood Link light rail extension, kicking off a 30-day review period by Congress—the last step before FTA can sign and execute the agreement. The final agreement will cement a $1.2 billion commitment from the federal government to help fund the project, and will allow Sound Transit to begin drawing down on $200 million of federal funding already allocated by Congress for the project through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. 

“Christmas came early to Puget Sound with a major investment in light rail going to Snohomish County. This agreement will link commuters and businesses throughout the region, build more parking for commuters and ease traffic congestion,” said Senator Cantwell. “I appreciate the hard work of Secretary Chao and the Department of Transportation given the complexity of this project and the importance of this next phase.”

 “This is fantastic news for North Sound residents who are one step closer to seeing our shared goal of expanding public transit options in their communities become reality. Completing the Lynnwood Link light rail extension will help commuters and consumers connect with employment and education centers, local businesses, as well as address congestion concerns, and I am grateful to Secretary Chao and the Federal Transit Administration for following through on their commitment to move forward with this grant agreement and get this critical project underway soon,” said Senator Murray. “As a voice for our state on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue doing my part to ensure the necessary federal investments continue to flow to Lynnwood Link to see this important project through to its completion.”

“Lynnwood Link will offer congestion-free travel to thousands of riders who currently experience some of the most brutal commutes in the nation,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “With this critical contribution from the FTA, we are set to launch construction early next year.” 

“This is great news for everyone in the Puget Sound region who wants to see more commuting options and our freeway congestion eased,” said Dave Somers, Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive. “Lynnwood Link is the first major investment in light rail for Snohomish County, and we appreciate the hard work of our congressional delegation and the Federal Transit Administration. Sound Transit has an ambitious plan to deliver for the people of our region, and Lynnwood Link is a key part of that plan.” 

The 8.5 mile Lynnwood Link light rail extension project will connect King and Snohomish Counties, helping address concerns over increasingly bad traffic congestion and continued regional growth with an estimated one million new residents expected in Puget Sound by 2040. Both Senators Murray and Cantwell have been strong advocates for federal investments in Washington state infrastructure priorities: Senator Murray has long fought to strengthen the CIG program and has helped successfully pass two consecutive spending bills that have rejected President Trump’s attempts to slash its funding. During Secretary Chao’s confirmation hearing, Senator Cantwell pressed the secretary for more Sound Transit funding. Additionally, Senator Murray has repeatedly pressed senior Department of Transportation officials on funding for the Lynnwood Link project, including pushing Secretary Chao during a Senate hearing in April to move forward with additional CIG awards with federal investments already provided by Congress to help support public transportation projects in Washington state like the Lynnwood Link extension.