Everett Residents Advised To Speak Up By April 30th To Avoid Further Sound Transit 3 Delays

April 14, 2021

Everett, Everett Government

Now through the end of the month Sound Transit is taking public comment over what they are terming “realignment” as they determine what may be changed or delayed in ST 3. There is no shortage of folks weighing in with their ideas for the future of Light Rail and mass transportation for Everett, Washington including SNOTRAC (Snohomish County Transportation Coalition, The Everett Station District Alliance and even the Everett City Council who recently decided to become more vocal about Sound Transit’s future plans. Here’s how Sound Transit says you can speak up.

The project list from the ST3 website. (that site is no longer being updated)

Through April 30, regional residents are encouraged to provide input to the Sound Transit Board of Directors on priorities for managing an unprecedented financial environment in its work to advance voter approved transit projects that are not already under construction.

Sound Transit faces two major, simultaneous challenges. A pandemic-driven recession has severely reduced consumer spending and agency tax revenues at the same time that real estate and construction market pressures continue to drive project estimates to levels significantly beyond previous assumptions. These factors result in a currently projected $11.5 billion affordability gap to complete the full expansion program as originally planned (the Board will update this forecast on April 22).

Through a process called realignment, the Board is working to determine how plans and timelines for voter-approved projects will need to change to address these financial pressures. The approved Sound Transit 3 ballot measure requires this process when it is clear the program is not affordable.

Alongside identifying options to manage costs, the first emphasis of the realignment is pursuing federal grants and other alternative revenue sources to help close the financial gap. To the extent the agency cannot secure sufficient new resources, establishing realignment plans this summer will help ensure affordability under updated projections for current revenue sources. The Board’s options include delaying the delivery of projects to provide longer periods to collect revenue; delivering projects in phases; and reducing project elements.

“The input that residents provide will help the Sound Transit Board establish a framework for managing whatever affordability gap remains after continuing our intensive work to secure additional financial capacity,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and University Place City Councilmember Kent Keel. “Our focus is on opening these projects with the least possible impact to when they will greatly expand our residents’ travel options and create thousands of jobs.”

How to provide input

Through April 30, community members can provide input on realignment through several options:

The agency will compile and present input to the Sound Transit Board in May in advance of upcoming realignment discussions.

Current construction unaffected 

Projects now under construction — including light rail extensions to NorthgateLynnwoodBellevue, Redmond, Federal Way and Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, as well as the Puyallup Sounder garage — are not subject to realignment. Sound Transit is poised to open all of these projects on schedule, almost tripling the reach of the region’s light rail system in the next four years from 22 to 62 miles. This construction, as well as future projects, will help our region’s economy recover from the COVID-19 recession, just as transit construction helped fuel our recovery from the Great Recession. Family-wage jobs offered by Sound Transit’s construction projects will help thousands return to the workforce, and in turn will support even more jobs in communities across the region.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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