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Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sound Transit taps Portlander

Seattle Times staff

Sound Transit has hired a temporary replacement for the outgoing chief of the system's light-rail project.

Lyndon "Tuck" Wilson Jr., former special counsel for Portland's Tri-Met transportation system and former director of its Westside light-rail project, has been named interim director of Link light rail, agency spokesman Denny Fleenor said.

Wilson replaces Paul Bay, who announced his resignation Nov. 17, saying he wanted to give the controversial project an opportunity for fresh leadership.

Wilson has a 60-day contract, which began Monday, with an option for a 60-day extension. He will make $180 an hour, plus expenses.

Link includes the Central Link line, the 21-mile light-rail system between the city of Sea-Tac and the University District in Seattle, and the 1.6-mile Tacoma Link, which is expected to be under construction soon.

Wilson previously was responsible for funding, siting, design or construction of the Multnomah County Justice Center, the Oregon Convention Center and the Multnomah County Maintenance Facility. He received a bachelor's degree in 1963 from Lewis and Clark College and a law degree in 1967 from Northwestern School of Law.

In his resignation letter to Sound Transit Executive Director Bob White, Bay said he was leaving because "I believe so strongly in the importance to this entire region of building a new rail- transit system."

"Because of doubts about the project recently voiced by critics, including concerns about tunnel costs, I believe that fresh project leadership will provide you and the Sound Transit Board with a better chance of regaining the public confidence necessary to move forward," wrote Bay, who joined the agency in early 1997.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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