Final design is the last stage of development of a publictransportation project. It includes preparation of finalconstruction plans, detailed specifications and cost estimates, biddocuments and real estate acquisition. The aforementioned fundswere appropriated by Congress in the fiscal year 2001Transportation Appropriations Act.

The multi-billion project would create a 23.5-mile light railline running north to south from Northgate, through DowntownSeattle, Southeast Seattle and the cities of Tukwila and SeaTac.The project will consist of 23 stations, four new park-and-ridelots, and one existing lot. The system would operate on existingand new right-of-way, including the existing 1.6 mile DowntownSeattle Transit Tunnel. Sound Transit estimates a total of 156,400daily riders on by 2020.

The approvals will help address "the serious mobility andcongestion challenges facing the region," says Secretary Mineta,adding that the project was one of the first issues he faced at theDepartment of Transportation. "I am pleased to see that since thattime the Congressional delegation in the Seattle region has workedlong and hard with all parties to bring the Central Link Light Railto this approval."

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