Shearman & Sterling advised the U.S. Department of Transportation in connection with the extension of an approximately $521 million secured loan to the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) to fund a portion of the Downtown Redmond Link Extension Project in Seattle, Washington. The loan, issued under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, will fund project costs for the light rail line extension, which will expand Sound Transit’s Link light rail service between Seattle and some of its most populated northern suburbs. The Downtown Redmond Link (DRLE) project includes approximately 3.4 miles from the Redmond Technology Station (opening 2023 as part of East Link) to downtown Redmond. The DRLE project adds two new light rail stations in 2024 in southeast Redmond, serving Marymoor Village near Marymoor Park, and in the downtown residential and retail core. This extension will help reduce traffic in the region providing increased mobility and easy connections to bus and other local transit services. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2024. Total project costs are estimated to be more than $1.6 billion.
Concurrently with the entry into the Downtown Redmond Link Extension TIFIA loan, Sound Transit refinanced its five existing projects (East Link Light Rail Project, Federal Way Link Extension Project, Lynnwood Link Extension Project, Northgate Link Extension Project and O&M Facility East Project) by entering into new loan agreements. The total loan amount is approximately $3.8 billion. The refinancing will help Sound Transit with savings of approximate $610 million. Shearman & Sterling had advised the U.S. Department of Transportation on the initial financings of the existing projects and also advised on the refinancing. The East Link Light Rail Project includes 14.5 miles of light rail connecting the Cities of Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake/Redmond in King County, Washington, ten stations, 46 new light rail vehicles and 2000 parking spaces. The Federal Way Link Extension Project includes 7.6 miles of light rail, three new stations and 19 new light rail vehicles. The Lynnwood Link Extension Project includes 8.5 miles of light rail, four new stations, 34 new light rail vehicles, 1500 parking spaces and a new maintenance and storage facility. The Northgate Link Extension Project includes 4.3 miles of light rail and three new stations. The O&M Facility East Project includes the construction of light rail storage and maintenance facility.