Sound Transit: Lynnwood light rail is $500 million over budget

SEATTLE -- Soaring costs for labor, materials and land have plans for a light-rail extension to Lynnwood running $500 million over budget.

Our news partner The Seattle Times reports that the previous budget estimate of $2.4 billion for the long-awaited project now stands at $2.9 billion.

In addition, the line is expected to open six months later than planned, in mid-2024 instead of late 2023.

Peter Rogoff, the chief executive of the regional transportation agency, calls that disappointing, and said Sound Transit is working with communities along the line to simplify design to save some money.

Voters approved the 8.5-mile extension from north Seattle to Lynnwood in 2008. Projections say it will provide a reliable 28-minute trip from Lynnwood to downtown Seattle.

Voters also approved another major light-rail package last year, the $53 billion Sound Transit 3 measure to build eight more extensions, including to Everett.