The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration is considering a controversial project to build a rail tunnel connecting the two cities of Seattle and Tacoma.
The project is a potential boon for the region’s economy, but also poses major challenges.
The project would link the former rail corridor to a major highway in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville and an existing rail line that goes through the northern part of the city, near the former port.
Both are located on a prime real estate development.
It would also link Seattle and Portland, Ore., to a highway and new rail tunnel, which could cut travel times for thousands of people.
The Federal Railroad Authority is looking for an architect and a designer to lead the project.
The agency, which runs the federal agency overseeing construction, said it will provide a list of finalists for the role, which requires a strong grasp of the subject matter and a broad understanding of transportation issues.
The company that would lead the bid is DNT Architects, a firm that has won dozens of high-profile contracts in the past decade, including one that included the design for the Washington state Capitol in Olympia, Wash.
The group is also looking for a project manager, a senior project manager and a project architect.
The bid has been held up in recent months by a lawsuit filed by a group of Seattle activists and environmental groups, who say the project would damage the city’s waterfront, create a dangerous bottleneck in the West Seattle area and pose a risk to the region as a whole.
The lawsuit alleges that the federal government is using federal land for private profit, including for construction of a tunnel, rail station and rail tracks.
The plaintiffs’ lawsuit also says the tunnel would put tens of thousands of tons of pollutants into Puget Sound and nearby lakes.
The federal government has said that the tunnels will only be used to build infrastructure for the freight rail network, not the regional rail system that connects Seattle and other major cities.
The tunnel project was among the more controversial projects that the Federal Railroad Commission approved in December, which was the final stage of a process that required the agency to study a project’s environmental impact.
The agency said it would submit a report to Congress and the public in a year, and the project is expected to begin construction in 2019.