OMF at S. 336th St is “preferred”
On Thursday, the Sound Transit Board made the responsible decision and designated S. 336th St in Federal Way as the “preferred” site of South Link’s Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF). It has not actually eliminated the other two sites from consideration, but the process will put somewhat more weight on 336th.
Public comment and external agency input mostly favored the landfill site. Using Sound Transit’s money to clean up an environmentally troubled area where nobody lives is good for everyone, except for those trying to build rapid transit within anything like the original budget and time constraints. Indeed, staff estimates it would cost at least $600m and 2.5 years of delay to take this remediation project off the shoulders of whoever else would be responsible. Sensibly, the board is reluctant to do so.
Of the two Federal Way sites, there were multiple tenants that didn’t want to be displaced from the parcels on 344th. Even the Christian Faith Center megachurch, which would be obliterated by the 336th option, preferred to be bought out and start somewhere else rather than lose part of the site in a way that complicates its various obligations to the city. The CFC ought to be commended for its reasonable stance, all things considered.
The staff’s technical analysis was basically a wash between 336th and 344th, so it’s not a surprise that the path of least resistance won out between them.
The final decision will come after the Final EIS in Late 2022.