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New rails being installed in Tacoma for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension opening in 2022.
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Crews work on sections of rail for the Hilltop Tacoma Link extension. Photo: City of Tacoma

Hilltop Tacoma Link extension on track

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After several months of digging in roadways throughout downtown Tacoma to move underground utilities, residents will now begin to see more visible signs of the new Hilltop Tacoma Link extension.

Crews placed the first 300-foot sections of new rail in Stadium Way. These first sections of dual rails will make up the 2.4 mile extension through the Stadium District and Hilltop neighborhood. 

Crews welded together eight 39-foot sections of rail to create the sections installed in the roadway. Here’s a great video of what that work looks like.

This project more than doubles the length of Tacoma Link, starting with a relocated Theater District station, and adding six new stations.

These connect to popular destinations such as the Stadium District, Wright Park and major medical facilities before reaching the new Hilltop neighborhood terminus. 

Construction crews have made significant progress on the project since last fall. Nearly 10,000 feet of underground utilities have been relocated and built 60 of more than 300 power pole foundations that are needed to run the new line. 

The Hilltop Tacoma Link project also includes expanding the Tacoma Link Operations and Maintenance (OMF) facility near Freighthouse Square that will house new vehicles that will come into service when the new line is ready for revenue service.

Crews working on the OMF have installed nearly 200 piles and completed 50 percent of the utility work. In July, crews will erect structural steel beams at the facility.

Downtown Tacoma commuters need to be aware that construction will ramp up this summer now that students at Stadium High School are on summer break.

Starting June 20, crews will be closing North E Street and North 1st Street just north of Division Avenue and at Tacoma Avenue through Sept. 4.

Detour routes for commuters will be on Stadium Way, North 1st Street, Division Avenue, Broadway and Tacoma Avenue. 

Trucks greater than 30 feet and buses are advised not to travel on Stadium Way and use other routes such as 9th Street to Tacoma Avenue. Smaller trucks can use Stadium Way and turn on Division Avenue. 

Check here for more information on the Hilltop Link Extension and to sign up for project updates.


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