Seattle's Sounder commuter rail service between Seattle and Everett, Wash., received approval of mitigation plans under the Endangered Species Act's stringent rules.
Culminating an intensive review led by the Federal Transit Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved Sound Transit's plans for protecting habitats of threatened chinook salmon, bull trout and bald eagles along the shoreline rail route.
The act approvals are necessary prerequisites for moving forward with track and signal improvements required to extend Sounder service along BNSF tracks that are also used to transport freight to and from the region.
The improvements will significantly increase capacity for both freight and passenger service.