Seattle’s Sound Transit board of directors identified preferred alternatives and other alternatives to study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) phase for the 11.8 mile West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project. The board action reflects 18 months of robust public engagement with community organizations, neighborhood groups, agency partners, and local elected officials.
As part of the work to meet the accelerated timelines of projects included in the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) plan, Sound Transit developed a System Expansion Implementation Plan (SEIP) that embraces new ways of working. Those adjustments include internal changes at Sound Transit to apply innovative ideas and lessons learned to refine and improve project development and delivery, as well as new approaches to working with project partners, communities, and local jurisdictions.
In particular, the SEIP called for the convening of a Stakeholder Advisory Group and an Elected Leadership Group to advise the board. Informed by technical evaluation results and community input, these groups screened many alternatives to focus on the alternatives with the most promise and made recommendations to the board on what to study in the DEIS phase. The West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project is just one of several voter-approved ST3 projects informed by these groups.
Sound Transit in coordination with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will prepare the DEIS, followed by a public and agency comment period in late 2020. The Sound Transit board would then confirm or modify the Preferred Alternative after consideration of the environmental evaluation, as well as additional public and agency engagement. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is anticipated to be complete in 2022, after which the board will select the project to be built and seek a Record of Decision from the FTA.