The Port of Seattle Commission this week approved the next steps in providing the first-ever sound insulation packages for more than 900 apartment units near Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA) as part of its accelerated program to cover more homes, condos and places of worship in airport communities.

The Port says that the current funding plan anticipates receiving approximately $80 million in federal grants over the next seven years to facilitate the effort, following direction last year from the Commission to complete the program in roughly half its initial 15-year timeline.

As part of this program, Highline High School has also been insulated:

“While it was necessary to temporarily pause noise insulation projects early in the pandemic, the recent return of passenger traffic to SEA make these sound insulation investments even more critical for residents,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “The Commission has been clear in its direction to staff to get this done now rather than waiting for the federal process to initiate construction, as was done in the past.”

The Port says that its staff are on track to finalize a contract with an architectural and engineering consultant which will help implement the program. The estimated accelerated program cost is $201.6 million with full participation of those facilities that are eligible. The Port will ensure the projects are funded through airport revenues to accelerate the process, work with the FAA to try to obtain maximum funding, and will apply for federal grant reimbursement to try and cover the upfront costs.

Sound insulation near the airport is typically funded with approximately 80 percent in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and 20 percent funding from the Port’s airport revenues.

Currently the Port has received more than $40 million in grants to support work in progress:

    • 140 Single-Family Home
    • 2 Condominium complexes
    • 903 Apartment units in 18 complexes
    • 5 Highline Schools (dependent on Highline School District schedules), and
    • 7 Places of Worship