June 26, 2013

Wash. breaks ground on $46M rail station project

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and state and local officials broke ground on the new passenger rail station in Tukwila, Wash.

The $46 million Tukwila Station project, which received $14.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, will reconstruct and enhance the temporary station that’s currently in place, transforming it into a modern, multi-modal transportation hub.

The project involves construction of a new passenger rail station in Tukwila, including two new platforms, a parking lot with long-term parking for Amtrak patrons, an improved pedestrian underpass and enhanced passenger amenities, creating a modernized train station for Amtrak Cascades, Sound Transit (ST) commuter rail, ST Express and King County Metro Transit Bus customers.

The project received a portion of its funding from the FRA’s $814 million investment in the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR) dedicated to the Pacific Northwest. These funds are paying for upgrades to one of the busiest intercity passenger rail corridors in the nation, which runs between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore. The upgrades are essential, as the number of roundtrips between Portland and Seattle is expected to increase by 50% in just five years.

Additionally, the FRA is investing $16.1 million in HSIPR funds to alleviate mudslide problems in the area. The slope stabilization project, which commences this summer, will improve stability and construct catchment walls at six locations in and around the Seattle/Everett area.

“With congestion already costing Seattle and Portland $2.7 billion annually, it's important that we improve safety, reliability and trip times,” said Administrator Szabo. “The slope stabilization project set to begin this summer in Washington is fundamental to safety and will enhance reliability for passengers and freight.”

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