Grand opening of East Link Light Rail Starter Line with ceremony attended by state senators and governor

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Sen. Murray, King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci at the grand opening of the East Link. Photo courtesy Patty Murray

Bellevue, WA – Saturday, April 27, 2024, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, attended the grand opening of the East Link Light Rail Starter Line. 

This new service will provide 6.6 miles of east-west connections between Redmond and Bellevue. The full East Link will open in 2025 and run 14.5 miles between Seattle and Redmond. 

In 2013, Murray secured a $14 million grant under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program that she created—which is now the RAISE grant program—for the East Link project.

Murray was joined at the grand opening ceremony by Senator Maria Cantwell; Governor Jay Inslee; Redmond Mayor Angela Birney; Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson; Goran Sparrman, Interim CEO of Sound Transit; Donny Stevenson, Vice-Chairman of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe; Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft; Beryl Tomay, Senior Vice President of Transportation at Amazon; Monty Anderson, Executive Secretary of the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council; Paul Kincaid, Associate Administrator for Communications and Congressional Affairs for the Federal Transit Administration; and Claudia Balducci, King County Councilmember among others.

“Public transit is a top priority for people across Washington state, so it’s a top priority for me—and I’m proud to have fought for, and won, crucial investments in our state’s public transit system,” said Senator Murray. 
“I have a long history with this project, and remember some pretty tough times a couple decades ago fighting alongside Joni Earl to ensure there was a future for Sound Transit—that future is here now, and it is so bright. 
"I am so excited to be here today, and to be able to tell everyone we will no longer have to wait years for light rail to come to Bellevue—instead it will be here every ten minutes!”

Murray has long been a supporter of the East Link extension, attending the groundbreaking in 2016 after securing a $14 million TIGER Grant for the project in 2013. 

Murray established the TIGER grants program in 2009, which later became the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. 

“Delivering the federal dollars to support Puget Sound’s incredible expansion of public transit has not been easy, but as long as I serve as the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee—it’s going to be a priority for the federal government,” Murray said.

Last summer, Murray announced a record nearly $133 million in RAISE funding for projects across Washington state—Washington was awarded the most RAISE grants of any state and received the most in total funding. Senator Murray notably helped secure $7.5 billion for the RAISE program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.
Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP