Construction to begin this spring on Sounder commuter rail stations

Publish Date

Sound Transit's commuter rail train stations for Sumner, Puyallup, Auburn, Kent and Tukwila will soon become reality as construction begins in late spring on the south Sounder commuter rail stations. Later this summer construction will begin on the commuter rail portion of the Tacoma Dome station, while construction of Seattle's commuter rail station is being coordinated with Amtrak's renovations at King Street Station. The overall budget for all stations is $27 million.

"These seven Sounder commuter rail stations represent an exciting opportunity for local contractors to team up with Sound Transit to help us enhance our communities and bring much-needed transit improvements to the region," said Paul Price, director of Sounder commuter rail. "To ensure that we can start Sounder commuter rail service on time and on budget, we'll be looking for hard-working companies that can efficiently get the job done." 

Sounder commuter rail's 40-mile inaugural service between Tacoma and Seattle on existing Burlington Northern/Santa Fe tracks is targeted to begin by the end of this year. While each station is being designed to reflect the character and spirit of each community, they will all share many standard features including: 600 foot concrete platforms with canopies; landscaped park and ride lots; bus transfer areas; pedestrian access improvements; safe lighting; focus on passenger safety and security; bicycle storage and designs to aid people with disabilities.

Each of the stations will be individually contracted, with the invitations for bids process getting underway through March and April. A pre-bid conference will be scheduled with each invitation to bid to brief contractors on the planned construction for each station. For more information or to add your company to the mailing list, please contact Bob Sundin, Sounder construction program manager at (206) 689-4674 or via e-mail at

Along with service between Tacoma and Seattle in late 1999, in early 2001 Sounder commuter rail will extend service north to Everett and south to Lakewood. Sounder is just one part of Sound Move, the regional transit plan approved by voters in 1996 which also includes the development of Link light rail between SeaTac and Northgate; a 1.6-mile downtown Tacoma Link line; and the Regional Express program which includes 20 new limited-stop regional bus routes and numerous improvements to transit centers, park-and-ride lots and HOV lanes throughout the region.

For more information and artists conceptions of the commuter rail stations are available on the Sound Transit website at You may also write or call for more information: 1100 Second Ave., Suite 500, Seattle WA 98101 (206) 398-5000 .

Details on each Sounder commuter rail stations follow:

King Street Station

  • Location: Between King St. and Jackson St. and Second Ave. and Fourth Ave.
  • Design team: OTAK, Seattle
  • Work is in conjunction with the state Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) renovation of historic King Street Station to become the Seattle inter-modal transportation terminal, including platforms for both Amtrak and Sounder commuter rail. Besides the basic commuter rail facilities, pedestrian access improvements will be provided.

Tukwila Station

  • Location: South of I-405 and west of the former Longacres race track near S. 158th St. 
  • Design team: MBT Architecture, Seattle
  • The plan features raised station platforms with a pedestrian tunnel connecting both sides of the track. A new bridge will replace the existing railroad bridge over Longacres Way. A walkway and roadway will also be improved to enhance pedestrian access. Parking will initially be provided for approximately 400 cars.

Kent Station

  • Location: Between First Ave and Railroad Ave, and W. Smith St. and W. James St. 
  • Design team: MBT Architecture, Seattle
  • The master plan features public plazas, a parking garage and a pedestrian bridge linking the garage to the platforms on both sides of the station. The bridge will be served by both stairs and elevators centrally located in the station area. The station will be built in Phase I and Sound Transit and the City of Kent will jointly develop the parking garage in Phase II. 

Auburn Station

  • Located along the existing Burlington Northern/Santa Fe railroad tracks between A St. and C St. SW and from West Main St. S. and Third St. SW. 
  • Design team: Anil Verma Associates, Inc., Kirkland 
  • Features include a public plaza, a parking garage with retail shops on two sides, a bus transit center and kiss and ride drop off area for rail and bus users. The structure and pedestrian bridge over the tracks will create a focus and add vitality to downtown Auburn. Garage project is a cooperative effort between Sound Transit and the City of Auburn.

Sumner Station

  • Location: South of Maple St. between Narrow Ave. and Traffic Ave. 
  • Design Team: Merritt/Pardini, Tacoma
  • To reflect the agricultural history and heritage of the Sumner Valley, the station is being designed to resemble a hops kiln. Facilities will include covered platforms on both sides of the tracks, park and ride lots and drop-off zone and bus lanes to access Pierce Transit buses. 

Puyallup Station

  • Location: West of Meridian St. near Main St. and Stewart Ave.
  • Design Team: Merritt/Pardini, Tacoma
  • The master plan features a small traditional open-air train depot in the Craftsman style to honor the character, style and heritage of Puyallup. Although commuter rail does not require a traditional train depot, Puyallup may seek funding for additional station improvements and private/public partnerships to expand development opportunities in the station area. 

Tacoma Dome Station 

  • Location: Adjacent to Freighthouse Square near the Tacoma Dome. 
  • Design team: Wallace & Floyd, Associates in partnership with Joji Minotagawa, Inc. Architects, Seattle
  • The design concept consists of a "train shed" reminiscent of European train stations that includes a large canopy to cover passengers and trains. Combined with this option is a pedestrian plaza between the tracks and Freighthouse Square, which will maintain delivery access for local businesses. The stations will be co-located with Pierce Transit's Tacoma Dome Station and Link light rail services.

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