USA: Puget Sound transport authority Sound Transit approved a $1·2bn budget for 2016 on December 17.

‘Our region’s commuters will see historic progress in 2016’, said Chair Dow Constantine. ‘We will open light rail extensions to Capitol Hill, the University of Washington and Angle Lake and successfully complete our tunnelling between Northgate and UW.’

Sound Transit expects to put a further funding proposal to voters in November 2016, a draft package of which is due to be released for public review earlier in the year.

The 2016 budget has earmarked $203m for completion of final design and the start of construction of the East Link light rail project, as well as $165m for Northgate Link construction. The Lynnwood Link project would receive $70m for the completion of preliminary engineering and the start of final design.

The light rail operations and maintenance satellite facility to be built in Redwood is to receive $49m ahead of construction starting in 2018, with a further $11m to expand the light rail fleet.

Due to open in early 2016, the University Link project will receive $40m for completion and testing. The South 200th Link project, to open in late 2016, will receive $23m. The Federal Way Link Extension will use $22m to complete the final environmental impact statement and begin preliminary engineering, while $7m is going towards the Tacoma Link extension.

The Sounder commuter rail network has also been allocated funds. The largest element is $44m to complete final design and begin constructing the Tacoma Trestle commuter rail bridge. A further $11m is to be used to complete final design and start construction of an expanded Sounder layover facility in Lakewood, with an extra $9m to purchase new coaches for expanded services to Lakewood.

  • The Federal Transit Administration is to provide $75m from its Small Starts programme towards the Tacoma Link extension.