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Originally published Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM

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Light rail to Northgate: 4.3 miles costs $2.1B; footbridge idea alive

Sound Transit expects to spend $2.1 billion for its mostly-tunneled light-rail line from Husky Stadium to Northgate, based on figures its...

Seattle Times transportation reporter

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Sound Transit expects to spend $2.1 billion for its mostly-tunneled light-rail line from Husky Stadium to Northgate, based on figures its capital committee endorsed Thursday. The full transit board is to vote June 28 on a budget for the 4.3-mile project, to be finished in 2021.

The agency kept alive the idea of a bicycle-pedestrian bridge across Interstate 5, to improve access from North Seattle Community College and housing west of the future Northgate light-rail station. Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin, a transit-board member, on Thursday proposed offering as much as $5 million of Sound Transit money toward a $20 million bridge, if other governments contribute. That suggestion will be discussed in July. Meanwhile, the agency intends to move forward with a controversial 600- to 900-space garage, to include 450 spaces earmarked for transit users and the rest for shoppers at Northgate Mall.

Some neighbors and green transportation groups object to spending millions of dollars catering to automobile traffic.

The agency says there would not be a net gain of parking spaces in the area, which total about 1,500. Some existing spaces would go away with light-rail construction and future development.

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

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