Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension places first set of new rails

Continuing construction includes summer road closure in front of Stadium H.S.

Publish Date

Crews on Sound Transit's Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension project installed the first 300 foot rail segments for the 2.4 mile extension through the Stadium District and Hilltop neighborhood. The new rails were placed on Stadium Way south of Division Street. Once the rail installation is complete, there is two-week test and inspection period to ensure the rails meet design specifications. 

A video of welding rail segments for installation is available here. The Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension is being built by Walsh Construction Company II, LLC. 

Since last fall, construction has concentrated on relocating underground utilities, building foundations for Link power poles, building traction power substations and expanding the Link Operations and Maintenance facility near Freighthouse Square.  

Initial work on the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension includes relocating nearly 10,000 feet of underground utility lines and built the foundations for 60 of the more that 300 Link power poles that will be built as part of the project. At the Operations and Maintenance facility expansion nearly 200 piles have been installed and 50 percent of the utility work is complete. Crews will erect structural steel beams at the facility this July.

Starting June 20, construction will begin in front of Stadium High School. Crews will close North E Street and North 1st Street just north of Division Avenue to Tacoma Avenue through September 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. 

When finished, the project extends the existing Tacoma Link system up Stadium Way, N. E St., 1st Street, Division Avenue and down Martin Luther King Jr. Way to South 19th Street. This includes relocating the existing Theatre District station and building seven new stations along the Link system.

Sound Transit is simultaneously working to extend regional light rail north, south, east and west, opening new stations every few years to form a 116-mile regional system by 2041. Northgate Link will open in 2021, to be followed in 2023 by the opening of service to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake community. Additional extensions to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Kent/Des Moines, Federal Way and downtown Redmond are planned in 2024. Further light rail extensions are scheduled to reach West Seattle, Fife and Tacoma in 2030; Ballard in 2035; Paine Field and Everett in 2036; and South Kirkland and Issaquah in 2041.

For more information on the Hilltop Link Extension and to sign up for project updates visit www.soundtransit.org/htlink.