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November 8, 2017

Tacoma preps for light rail expansion

Image from Sound Transit documents [enlarge]
This station will be adjacent to MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital in the Hilltop neighborhood.

Sound Transit is showing the latest designs tonight for the 2.4-mile Tacoma Link Extension at an open house in Tacoma.

When it opens in 2022, the $217 million project will extend light rail from the Theater District, through the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods, to St. Joseph Medical Center at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South 19th Street.

There will be one relocated station at Old City Hall and new stations at South Fourth Street, in the Stadium District near Wright Park, and four along Martin Luther in the Hilltop neighborhood.

The project includes an addition to the operations and maintenance building near Freighthouse Square and four new traction power substations along the route.

HDR Engineering is the prime consultant. Here are the subconsultants: Concord Engineering, FSi Consulting Engineers, Krebs Corp., LTK Engineering Services, PRR, PCS Structural Solutions, Shannon & Wilson, Triunity Engineering & Management, True North Land Surveying, Waterleaf Architecture, Swift Co. and Wilson Ihrig.

Construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2018. Funding is coming from the ST2 levy.

The open house will be held 5-7 p.m. at Evergreen State College, 1210 Sixth Ave. in Tacoma. More information is at tacomalinkopenhouse.org.

Tacoma Link eventually will be extended to Tacoma Community College from the future station at St. Joseph Medical Center.

Initial plans for the TTC extension include 4.4 miles of new track, mostly at-grade but with an elevated section over state Route 16. The conceptual cost is up to $478 million in 2014 dollars.

The extension will have four center platform stations — at South Sprague Avenue, South Union Avenue, South Stevens Street and the college — plus two side platform stations, at Pearl Street and in Hilltop near South Ainsworth Avenue.

Most of the track will run along the center of South 19th Street, which will be expanded or reconstructed between South Wilkeson Street in the Hilltop and SR 16 near TCC. The track will run north of and parallel to 19th between SR 16 and TCC.

The TCC extension includes installation of a second track between Union Station and the Tacoma Dome running along Puyallup Avenue to handle the additional load on the system.

Sound Transit is scheduled to launch the TCC extension project in 2026, with service starting in 2039. Up to 18,000 riders are expected daily by 2040.

It is funded by the ST3 levy.

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