Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bellevue, Wash., in accord on LRT route

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Bellevue, Wash., in accord on LRT route Sound Transit
The Bellevue, Wash., City Council Monday night unanimously approved an agreement with Sound Transit for a light rail line that included tunnels through its downtown, including accord on financing for the more costly infrastructure.

The agreement clears Sound Transit for completion of design work for the $2.7 billion, 14.5-mile line that will connect Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Redmond, Wash. Revenue service is targeted to begin in 2023. The council's action ratifies Sound Transit's preferred route along Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Avenue Southeast, through downtown, and on through the Bel-Red Corridor to the Overlake area of Redmond.

Bellevue agreed to share the cost of the tunnel, but last-minute changes in the agreement commit the city and Sound Transit to jointly find ways to cut the costs.

Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick said in an email that agency CEO Joni Earl expects to sign the agreement after a final check of the language adopted by the City Council. The Sound Transit board last month authorized her to sign the agreement.

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