Contributed by Sound Transit

The Sound Transit Board of Directors selected the alignment for extending light rail to Federal Way last week. The route, with stations at Kent/Des Moines near Highline College, South 272nd Street, and the Federal Way Transit Center, will travel along the west side of Interstate 5 between stations and maximize future transit-oriented development around the stations.

The selected 7.8-mile route will extend south from the Angle Lake Station in the City of SeaTac, cross State Route 99, continue along the south edge of the future SR 509 highway to Interstate 5, and travel south along the west side of the I-5 freeway.

In the Kent/Des Moines station area, the route will transition west near Highline College with a station along the west side of 30th Avenue South. The alignment will then continue south along the west side of I-5 to the Star Lake Park and Ride at South 272nd Street in the City of Kent.

South of South 272nd, the alignment will continue along the west side of I-5 before curving west at South 317th Street and ending at the Federal Way Transit Center at the west side of 23rd Avenue South and north of South 320th Street.

Following the Board action, Sound Transit will request a Record of Decision (ROD) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Following the Record of Decision, procurement for a design-build contractor would begin, with construction scheduled to start in 2019.

By the time light rail begins serving Federal Way in 2024, Sound Transit will be operating Link across more than 60 miles of light rail service to Northgate and Lynnwood; Mercer Island, Bellevue and downtown Redmond; and Tacoma Link to Hilltop. Link light rail is expected to carry more than 80 million riders annually by 2030.

During the next few months, Sound Transit will host a variety of neighborhood briefings.  We encourage you to attend one of these meetings to gain a better understanding of what to expect next in this process. If your neighborhood would like a briefing, please contact Zac Eskenazi at 206-903-7178.

Dana Neuts

I am a full-time freelance writer, editor, marketing pro and the publisher of