Link light rail construction begins in Tacoma

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Construction of Washington state's first modern light rail line has begun, as ground is being prepared for the operations and maintenance facility for Tacoma Link light rail's 1.6-mile line.

The facility will be located at the south end of the future Tacoma Link light rail line at 805 E. 25"' St. near the intersection of E. 25th St. and G St. The site was formerly occupied by Smurfit Recycling Company in the Tacoma Dome District industrial area.

When complete, the $4 million facility will serve as the operations and training base for the five station line which will run from the Tacoma Dome Station at E. 25"' St. and E St., ending in downtown Tacoma's Theater District at S. 9"' St. and Commerce St. The facility will also perform cleaning and maintenance for the three light rail vehicles currently being manufactured for Sound Transit by Inekon Skoda in the Czech Republic. The construction project is projected to take 12 to 15 months. The site is being prepared first by the demolition of the existing industrial-style buildings on the site, performed by subcontractor RH Rhine Inc. of Tacoma. Once that is complete, construction of the new, 11,000 square foot metal building will be built by prime contractor Berschauer Phillips of Olympia.

The Sound Transit Board is currently considering the award of the construction contract for the 1.6-mile rail line, stations and other street and sidewalk improvements. Voter-approved in 1996, Sound Transit is on track to implement a three-county regional transit system plan known as Sound Move. Sound Move is a seamless blend of three transportation systems: Sounder commuter rail, running 82 miles from Everett to Tacoma/Lakewood; Link light rail, a 21-mile system connecting the cities of Seattle, Tukwila and SeaTac and a 1.6 mile system in Tacoma; and Regional Express, featuring 18 new ST Express limited stop, long-haul bus routes and numerous improvements to transit centers, park-and-ride lots and HOV lanes throughout the region.

For general Sound Transit information please visit the Sound Transit Web site at %so-clndtransit.org/, or call or write at Sound Transit, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104, 206-398-5000 or toll free 1-800-201-4900.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.