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Friday, April 27, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sound Transit light-rail, streetcar proposals beefed up

Seattle Times transportation reporter

Sound Transit sought to sweeten this fall's "Roads & Transit" ballot measure Thursday by stretching its proposed light rail north to Ash Way and 164th Street Southwest in Snohomish County, and by lengthening a proposed streetcar line for Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

An earlier plan frustrated some officials because the north line stopped at Lynnwood.

The agency's governing board also voted to study the BNSF Railway's soon-to-be-abandoned line from Renton to Snohomish for use as a bike trail and future transit route. King County is trying to acquire the corridor.

The board also voted to extend the proposed Seattle streetcar route an additional six blocks to Aloha Street. The line, which would run from the International District to First Hill and Capitol Hill, would have ended near Broadway and John Street under an earlier proposal.

The ballot measure, to become final in May, calls for $23 billion in transit extensions and $14 billion in highway projects through 2028 and additional bond payments for years afterward. Omitting finance costs and inflation, the transit spending totals $10 billion, the road plan $9 billion.

Other recent tweaks include stretching the light-rail corridor farther south to the Tacoma Dome, instead of stopping at the Port of Tacoma.

Sound Transit now proposes 50 miles of new light rail, in addition to the 16 miles now under construction, and a planned three-mile tunnel to Husky Stadium.

The measure includes a route from Seattle to Overlake, via the Interstate 90 floating bridge and downtown Bellevue.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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