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Project updates: Federal Way Link Extension

Sep 19, 2018

This week outreach ends: in-person and online! Help us narrow options

Tacoma Dome Link Extension open house promotional graphic.

Attend our open house tonight from 6 – 8 p.m. to learn more about light rail routes and station locations, speak to a Sound Transit representative and provide your comment.

Thanks to those who attended our events in Federal Way and Fife last week!

Tacoma

Wednesday, Sept. – tonight
Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel
2611 E. E Street
Take Transit: This location is one block south of Tacoma Dome Station, with bus, Sounder and Tacoma Link connections

Go online to view the current route and station options at South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and Tacoma Dome areas. Comment by Sept. 21.

More about TDLE

The voter-approved system expansion extends regional light rail from Federal Way Transit Center to the Tacoma Dome Station area, with four stations at South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and Tacoma Dome. Door-to-door, this project will mean 35 minutes from Tacoma Dome to SeaTac Airport; light rail will allow you to reliably fly through traffic. Light rail operations are expected to begin in 2030.

Sep 11, 2018

We hope to see you - join us in-person, starting tonight!

Tacoma Dome Link Extension open house promotional graphic.

Attend an open house (6 – 8 p.m.) to learn more about the alternatives, speak to a Sound Transit representative and provide your comment.

Federal Way
Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Tonight

Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center
31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S.
Take Transit: 179, 181, 182, 183, 187, 193, 197, 402, 500, 501, 574, 577, 578, 901, 902, A Line

Fife
Wednesday, Sept. 12
Fife High School
5616 20th St. E.
Take Transit: 501

Tacoma
Wednesday, Sept. 19
Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel
2611 E. E Street
Take Transit: This location is one block south of Tacoma Dome Station, with bus, Sounder and Tacoma Link connections

See light rail routes and station locations online

At open houses last spring, Sound Transit's project team listened to your ideas and developed alternatives based on station location suggestions.

View the current route and station options at South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and Tacoma Dome areas.

Visit the Online Open House »

More about TDLE

The voter-approved system expansion extends regional light rail from Federal Way Transit Center to the Tacoma Dome Station area, with four stations at South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and Tacoma Dome. Door-to-door, this project will mean 35 minutes from Tacoma Dome to SeaTac Airport; light rail will allow you to reliably fly through traffic. Light rail operations are expected to begin in 2030.

Learn more »

Sep 5, 2018

Help Sound Transit narrow alternatives and station location options for the Tacoma Dome Link Extension project

At open houses last spring, Sound Transit's project team listened to your ideas and developed alternatives based on station location suggestions. Help the TDLE team fine-tune your feedback as we:

Determine which route and station alternatives to study further for the light rail route and station locations at South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and Tacoma Dome areas.

Evaluate potential sites between Kent and Tacoma for a new operations and maintenance facility.

Your input is crucial to the development of the 9.7-mile Tacoma Dome Link Extension light rail service, which will connect Pierce County and South King County with the regional network. Visit an in-person or online open house between now and Sept. 21.

Visit the Online Open House »

Share your thoughts in person!

Attend an open house (6 – 8 p.m.) to learn more about the alternatives, speak to a Sound Transit representative and provide your comment. Join us!

Federal Way
Tuesday, Sept. 11
Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center
31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S.
Take Transit: 179, 181, 182, 183, 187, 193, 197, 402, 500, 501, 574, 577, 578, 901, 902, A Line

Fife
Wednesday, Sept. 12
Fife High School
5616 20th St. E.
Take Transit: 501

Tacoma
Wednesday, Sept. 19
Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel
2611 E. E Street
Take Transit: This location is one block south of Tacoma Dome Station, with bus, Sounder and Tacoma Link connections

Additionally, you can:

  • Email us
  • Mail comments to:
    Tacoma Dome Link Extension Project
    c/o Sagar Ramachandra
    Sound Transit
    401 Jackson St.
    Seattle, WA 98104-2826
  • Call us: 206-903-7118

More about TDLE

As a reminder, the voter-approved system expansion extends regional light rail from Federal Way Transit Center to the Tacoma Dome Station area, with four stations at South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and Tacoma Dome. Door-to-door, this project will mean 35 minutes from Tacoma Dome to SeaTac Airport; light rail will allow you to reliably fly through traffic. Light rail operations are expected to begin in 2030.

Learn more »

May 31, 2018

See what the Federal Way Link Extension will look like!

At Sound Transit, we've been working hard to move the Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE) Project toward the beginning of construction.

The project team is excited to present a video animation of the future light rail route, which includes information from project engineers, architects and others. The video features a detailed project overview, including an aerial overview of the future project area.

Check out the video here!

Federal Way Link Extension flyover video beginning still.

Kent/Des Moines station area spotlight

Sound Transit is committed to ensuring the Kent/Des Moines station area provides easy and enjoyable access for the community. The elevated station and landscaped pedestrian boulevard will improve access to Highline College and surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. The design of the station area will include three new streets to promote multimodal access, including walking, bicycling, transit, and driving and parking. Sound Transit is also creating two large plaza areas with an urban design that includes landscaping, seating and public art.

Like other Sound Transit stations, the station plaza will be open to street performers or buskers who register online. A second plaza on the opposite side of the station near the garage will include covered spaces where people can enjoy food trucks and other activities. With its Northwest Modern look and feel and thoughtfully placed art, the completed station will meet the neighborhood goals for being inviting, nature-inspired and contemporary. The FWLE project team hopes these investments will make the station a destination and a catalyst for a thriving and walkable community.

Map of the Kent/Des Moines station.

Request for Qualifications

In April Sound Transit released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to procure a design-build contractor to finish designing and then construct the entire FWLE alignment, including the three station areas. After proposers submit their Statements of Qualifications for the RFQ, Sound Transit will evaluate and score each submission to determine a short list of qualified design-build firms selected to participate in the Request for Proposal phase of the procurement. Sound Transit's project team anticipates releasing a RFP to the shortlisted design-build firms in August. Each firm will have approximately six months to respond to the RFP. Sound Transit will then evaluate and score the shortlisted firm's proposal and select the highest-ranked proposal. After successful completion of negotiations with the top-ranked firm, Sound Transit will then work toward board approval for contract award.

Recent and upcoming activities in the corridor

The FWLE project team recently hosted workshops for residents facing project-related relocation. The workshops focused on renters and provided an overview of the Sound Transit relocation program. HomeSight—a local nonprofit that assists first-time homebuyers—also gave a presentation.

Our project team will be out and about sharing information at local events and area farmers' markets. Keep an eye out for our booths and stop by to chat with us! Watch for an event schedule in future email updates.

Mar 1, 2018

As Federal Way Link Extension moves closer to construction, search begins for public artists

(c) Mauricio Robalino, Flores, Fishmobile Crossing, Pinwheel mosaic and gate, 2009, all rights reserved / Rainier Beach Station, Seattle
(c) Laura Haddad, Cloud, 2016, all rights reserved / Angle Lake Station, SeaTac

The Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE) continues to plan for the extension of light rail in South King County. In 2019, Sound Transit will begin constructing the light rail extension connecting Angle Lake Station in SeaTac to the Federal Way Transit Center. The 7.8-mile route will run primarily along the west side of Interstate 5 with three stations located near Kent Des Moines Road, the Star Lake Park-and-Ride at South 272nd and the Federal Way Transit Center. The extension will open for service in 2024.

In 2018, the FWLE team will continue to prepare for construction of the design-build project. Design-build means one contractor will both design and construct the alignment and stations. This type of project delivery method can create more cost and schedule certainty. The procurement process to hire a contractor for a design-build project is lengthy and complex. The process will begin in the spring of this year and conclude in the summer of 2019. Once onboard, the design-build contractor will advance final design and begin construction.

To learn more about the design-build method of project delivery, read our recent blog post. To learn more about the FWLE project, visit the project website.

(c) Laura Haddad, Cloud, 2016, all rights reserved / Angle Lake Station, SeaTac
(c) Laura Haddad, Cloud, 2016, all rights reserved / Angle Lake Station, SeaTac

STart

Sound Transit's commitment to communities where it builds and operates includes incorporating public art into projects. The Sound Transit Art Program (STart) features artworks by nationally known artists as well as emerging public artists. Their work represents a diverse range of styles, scale and perspective that creates welcoming and engaging environments for riders and others who interact with stations and construction sites.

Sound Transit is developing more projects than ever before. The STart program recently identified the need to grow the number of qualified artists to work on these projects, including the FWLE. In early January 2018, STart released an open Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for artists to apply to become a part of this roster. In addition to advertising the opportunity online, we also enlisted the help of artists, arts administrators, city staff, and community organizations to raise awareness and encourage artists to apply to the call. In mid-January, STart hosted workshops to give artists more information about the program and answer questions about the current RFQ for the roster expansion. Federal Way's workshop took place Jan. 23 at the Federal Way Community Center.

(c) Mauricio Robalino, Flores, Fishmobile Crossing, Pinwheel mosaic and gate, 2009, all rights reserved / Rainier Beach Station, Seattle
(c) Mauricio Robalino, Flores, Fishmobile Crossing, Pinwheel mosaic and gate, 2009, all rights reserved / Rainier Beach Station, Seattle

Next steps

Moving forward, STart will further refine art opportunities for each station in the coming months and will use the prequalified roster to identify artists for multiple temporary and permanent projects. As station specific projects are developed, STart's goal is to engage artists with interesting perspectives, voices and include a variety of artistic expressions within the system.

For more information about STart or future artist opportunities go to: https://www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/public-art.

Or contact:
Mylinda Sneed
Public Art Coordinator
206-689-4978
mylinda.sneed@soundtransit.org

Nov 20, 2017

Feedback results for new Link stations

Passengers board a Link light rail train.

Hello!

Thank you for sharing your feedback on the three future Federal Way Link Extension light rail stations. We appreciate your time and contribution to this project. Sound Transit is committed to designing light rail stations that reflect the communities they serve.

In August and September, we reached out to you and your neighbors asking for input on the look and feel of the three new Link light rail stations located near Highline College, the current South 272nd Street Star Lake Park and Ride, and the Federal Way Transit Center.

We've been busy compiling, tallying and finalizing the data from open houses, community briefings and the online survey. You can find our full survey results here.

Here are some of our key findings:

We received feedback from a diverse group of respondents from across the Central Puget Sound region including King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

  • Most of the respondents live in Federal Way, Des Moines, Kent, Seattle or Tacoma.
  • Seventy-six percent of respondents commented on the Federal Way Transit Center station, 58 percent commented on the South 272nd Street station, and 55 percent commented on the Kent/Des Moines station.

Station areas should be open, welcoming and practical, and inspired by Northwest aesthetic.

  • Most respondents indicated that they will primarily use the stations to commute to or from work and to attend recreational activities. With that in mind, residents of these communities want stations that will meet their practical needs and add a Northwest aesthetic, without standing out too much.

Here are a few words people used to describe the look, feel and character of the stations:

  • Northwest. Simple. Welcoming. These are the words you used to describe your ideal stations in your communities.
  • Respondents agreed that the Kent/Des Moines station should be a lively gathering place with colorful features and natural landscaping. South 272nd Street station should be a well-lit, welcoming space also featuring abundant natural landscaping. The Federal Way Transit Center should feel urban and lively, feature architectural lighting and landscaping, and provide a dynamic experience connected to the cultural town center.

Passenger waits for a Link light rail train.

Next steps

If you missed the opportunity to share your feedback online or at one of our open houses, let us know. Sound Transit is committed to delivering stations that reflect your goals and opinions.

Please visit the Federal Way Link Extension project website for updates.

Jan 31, 2017

Federal Way Link Extension Project to Build Selected

Good Afternoon!

We are pleased to announce that the Sound Transit Board of Directors selected the alignment for extending light rail to Federal Way on Thursday, January 26. The route, with stations at Kent/Des Moines near Highline College, South 272nd Street, and the Federal Way Transit Center, will travel along the west side of Interstate 5 between stations and maximize future transit-oriented development around the stations.

The selected 7.8-mile route will extend south from the Angle Lake Station in the City of SeaTac, cross State Route 99, continue along the south edge of the future SR 509 highway to Interstate 5, and travel south along the west side of the I-5 freeway. In the Kent/Des Moines station area, the route will transition west near Highline College with a station along the west side of 30th Avenue South. The alignment will then continue south along the west side of I-5 to the Star Lake Park and Ride at South 272nd Street in the City of Kent. South of South 272nd, the alignment will continue along the west side of I-5 before curving west at South 317th Street and ending at the Federal Way Transit Center at the west side of 23rd Avenue South and north of South 320th Street.

A map of the selected alignment is available at www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Federal-Way-Link-Extension/Location-FWLE.

Following the Board action, Sound Transit will request a Record of Decision (ROD) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Following the Record of Decision, procurement for a design-build contractor would begin, with construction scheduled to start in 2019.

By the time light rail begins serving Federal Way in 2024, Sound Transit will be operating Link across more than 60 miles of light rail service to Northgate and Lynnwood; Mercer Island, Bellevue and downtown Redmond; and Tacoma Link to Hilltop. Link light rail is expected to carry more than 80 million riders annually by 2030. 

During the next few months, Sound Transit will host a variety of neighborhood briefings.  We encourage you to attend one of these meetings to gain a better understanding of what to expect next in this process.  If your neighborhood would like a briefing, please contact Zac Eskenazi at 206-903-7178 or Zachary.eskenazi@soundtransit.org.

Nov 10, 2016

Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) now available

Passenger disembarks the Link light rail train.

The Final EIS for the Federal Way Link light rail extension has been published by Sound Transit and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The Final EIS:

  • Describes the routes and stations studied, including their potential impacts
  • Identifies ways to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts
  • Responds to public and agency comments received on the project's Draft EIS
  • Provides information to assist the Sound Transit Board in selecting the project to build
  • Complies with National and State Environmental Policy Acts (NEPA/SEPA)

Review the final EIS

Copies of the Final EIS are available on the project website, soundtransit.org/FWextension. Copies are also available for review at the:

  • Sound Transit office: 401 S Jackson St., Seattle
  • Des Moines Library: 21620 11th Ave. S., Des Moines
  • Woodmont Library: 26809 Pacific Highway S., Des Moines
  • Kent Library: 212 2nd Ave. N., Kent
  • Federal Way S. 320th Library: 848 S. 320th Street, Federal Way
  • Federal Way Library: 34200 1st Way S., Federal Way
  • Washington State Library: 6880 Capitol Boulevard SE, Tumwater

For a free copy of the Executive Summary and a CD of the Final EIS or to purchase a printed copy, contact the project team at Zachary.eskenazi@soundtransit.org or 206-903-7178.

Following publication of the Final EIS, the FTA will accept comments for 30 days. All comments are due close of business on Dec. 19, 2016. Send comments to the FTA by:
Email: fta.tro10mail@dot.gov
Mail: Federal Transit Administration, Region 10 Office, Attn. Federal Way Link Extension EIS Comments, 915 Second Ave., Suite 3142, Seattle. WA 98174-1002

Project background and next steps

The project will extend light rail south from Angle Lake in the City of SeaTac to the Federal Way Transit Center in 2024. By 2035, Federal Way Link will carry an estimated 35,000 to 39,500 riders each weekday through one of the most congested travel corridors in the region. Stations will be located in the Kent/Des Moines area, at South 272nd Street and the Federal Way Transit Center. The extension will provide a 46-minute trip between Federal Way and downtown Seattle regardless of traffic conditions.

The Sound Transit Board is expected to select the route and station locations at its Jan. 26 meeting. After securing a federal Record of Decision and completing the design work, the project is scheduled to enter construction in 2019.

Jul 23, 2015

Sound Transit Board identifies preferred alternative for light rail extension to Kent/Des Moines, Federal Way

Project proceeds to final environmental review; Board to select project in late 2016

On July 23, the Sound Transit Board of Directors identified a preferred alternative for extending light rail to Kent/Des Moines and, when funding is available, to Federal Way. The route, with stations near Highline College, South 272nd Street, and the Federal Way Transit Center, would travel along the west side of Interstate 5 between stations and maximize future transit-oriented development around the stations.

The preferred alternative includes three stations: one in Kent/Des Moines on the east side of SR 99, another in Federal Way at the Star Lake park-and-ride at South 272nd Street, and a third at the Federal Way Transit Center. Staff will also evaluate potential modifications in the Kent/Des Moines and Federal Way station areas.

The preferred alternative would extend south from the Angle Lake Station, cross SR 99 and continue along the south edge of the future SR 509 alignment to I-5. It would continue south along the west side of I-5 before transitioning west in the Kent/Des Moines area to serve Highline College. The alignment would continue south along the west side of I-5 to the S 272nd Star Lake Station and terminate at the Federal Way Transit Center.

The Board identified the preferred alternative after receiving public feedback on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in April. The Board’s action today directs project staff to advance design and complete environmental review, during which staff will evaluate potential modifications to alignment and station options.

Among these potential modifications, staff will study ways to optimize the Kent/Des Moines preferred station option between Highline College and 30th Avenue South to facilitate access to Highline College and enhance potential future transit-oriented development in the Midway area.

Staff will also evaluate re-aligning the preferred station option at the Federal Way Transit Center along 23rd Avenue South. This potential change would facilitate multimodal connections to the existing transit center, accommodate a future light rail extension south along I-5 or SR 99, and support the potential for future transit-oriented development downtown.

Jul 17, 2015

Board expected to identify a preferred alternative for Federal Way Link Extension

On July 23, Sound Transit’s Board of Directors will take public comments and is expected to identify a preferred alternative for the Federal Way Link Extension project.
Then, Sound Transit will advance design of the preferred alternative and refine the environmental impact analysis. These findings will be published in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) expected in late 2016.
The Sound Transit Board of Directors will consider the findings in the FEIS and select a project to build.

Meeting details: 
1:30 - 4 p.m. 
Ruth Fisher Board Room 
Union Station
401 S. Jackson St. 
Seattle, WA 98104

You can also watch the Sound Transit Board meetings live at: soundtransit.org/boardlive

Please contact Tralayne Myers, Community Outreach Specialist, at 206-398-5014 or tralayne.myers@soundtransit.org with any questions or comments you may have.

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