Sound Transit is replacing the wooden single-track railroad trestle east of Freighthouse Square with a modern, double-track bridge. The new bridge will increase passenger and rail capacity along the corridor and improve reliability for Sounder and Amtrak passenger service. The existing wooden trestle would require structural upgrades within five years to support current and increased rail operations.
To replace the trestle, crews will demolish the current 0.65 mile-long wood structure and construct a new double-track rail bridge over South 26th and East G streets and crossover tracks. Other improvements include building an expanded passenger platform to accommodate Amtrak passenger trains, making minor street repairs, relocating some utilities, replacing retaining walls at both ends of the bridge and upgrading the railroad signals.
In 2008, voters approved the Tacoma Trestle project as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure; the total Tacoma Trestle project budget is $62 million (2014 dollars). In 2013, Sound Transit received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. This allowed Sound Transit to accelerate the project schedule from 2023 to 2017 to coincide with the opening of the new Amtrak Station. This updated schedule accommodates three additional Sounder south line round trips and completion of the Washington State Department of Transportation Point Defiance Bypass Project.
Amtrak connections at Freighthouse Square
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is developing design plans for the Point Defiance Bypass project that will allow Amtrak trains to serve Freighthouse Square. The state's current schedule would reroute all Amtrak service by late 2017, a move that would consolidate all passenger rail service in one location.
At the request of the City of Tacoma to WSDOT, Sound Transit is working with the state to determine the feasibility of incorporating design and construction of an extended platform into the Trestle project. This extended platform would accommodate the longer Amtrak trains without impacting nearby streets. It is not needed for Sounder service.
Sound Transit does not have funding or authority to build new station platforms. If the new platform design is feasible, its design and construction would be the responsibility of another party.
Summer 2013 Conceptual engineering / environmental review
2014 Preliminary engineering/environmental: 30 percent design concept, Environmental work including SEPA, archaeological survey and wetlands survey and impact analysis
Nov. 2014 - Summer 2015 Final design: 60 and 90 percent design including aesthetic/architectural elements, construction impacts and identify construction mitigation, develop business mitigation proram, test pile program and public involvement
2015 - 2017 Construction
2017 Completed project, fully operational
Display Boards - Tacoma Trestle Open House
Nov 13, 2014: Display boards for the Tacoma Trestle track & signal project open house
Positive train control equipment installation update
Aug 11, 2014: Additional safety technology equipment being installed between Tacoma and Lakewood
Tacoma Trestle Track and Signal SEPA Checklist
Jul 16, 2014: State Environmental Policy Act checklist for the Tacoma Trestle Track and Signal project.
Tacoma Trestle Track and Signal Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS)
Jul 16, 2014: Determination of Nonsignficance (DNS) issued for the Tacoma Trestle Track and Signal project
Sound Transit is committed to communicating with Tacoma residents and businesses about the project and providing meaningful opportunities to get involved. You can:
- Receive advance notice about public meetings and opportunities to provide input through local newspapers, blogs, project mailings and this website. Subscribe
- Attend public meetings to hear project updates, learn how decisions will be made and provide comments.