Open houses start tomorrow for Federal Way to Tacoma Dome regional light rail extension

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Opportunity for public to weigh in online and in person on route, station locations, operations and maintenance facility as work to reach consensus on preferred alternative by mid-2019 begins 

Starting tomorrow, early scoping open houses for the Tacoma Dome Link regional light rail extension will provide opportunities for the public to weigh in on route and station locations for the project as well as the location for a new operations and maintenance facility.

Tacoma
Tuesday, April 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel, 2611 E. E Street

Federal Way
Wednesday, April 18, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Todd Beamer High School, 35999 16th Ave. S.

Fife
Tuesday, April 24, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Fife Community Center, 2111 54th Ave. East

Members of the public unable to attend the open houses can comment online at https://tdlink.participate.online/.

Comments must be submitted by May 3.

”Early scoping” is the first step in the environmental process for the light rail extension opening from Federal Way to Tacoma in 2030. As part of early scoping, members of the public are invited to comment on the planning assumptions (route, station locations, etc.) in the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) Plan, known as the “representative project,” as well as providing input on the project purpose and need, other alternatives, and the transportation and community impacts and benefits. 
 
During alternatives development, staff will assess the representative project and, based on additional public engagement and technical analysis, further refine the route, station locations and other project elements. The representative project itself is based on planning and public involvement work, including high-capacity transit studies, the process to update the agency’s Long-Range Plan, and the work to develop the ST3 Plan. 

Through mid-2019, staff will engage the public and stakeholder groups in an intensive public involvement process that is expected to lead to the Sound Transit Board identifying a preferred alternative, as well as other alternatives, to evaluate in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). More information on the public involvement process is available at www.soundtransit.org/tdlink 

Identifying a preferred alternative earlier in the EIS process will jump-start public conversations about project decisions, reveal areas of broad agreement, and help focus project leadership on areas needing problem-solving and consensus building. This streamlined process is also intended to reduce overall project delivery time by reaching early public consensus on the preferred alternative and reducing the risk of new alternatives being introduced late in the environmental review process or after the environmental process is complete. The Sound Transit Board will make a final decision on the project to build after completion of the environmental review.

The representative project for the regional light rail extension from Federal Way to the Tacoma Dome includes 9.7-miles of elevated and at-grade light rail from the Federal Way Transit Center to the Tacoma Dome with a new rail-only fixed span across the Puyallup River. It includes four new stations in South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and at the Tacoma Dome. This project will also consider locations for a new operation and maintenance facility in the south corridor.

In addition to the Tacoma Dome Link Extension, Sound Transit is simultaneously working to extend light rail north, south and east, opening new stations every few years to form a 116-mile regional system by 2041. The agency is on track to open extensions to Seattle's University District, Roosevelt and Northgate neighborhoods in 2021, followed by service to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake area in 2023. Additional extensions to Kent/Des Moines, Federal Way, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Downtown Redmond are planned to open in 2024. Further light rail extensions are scheduled to reach West Seattle in 2030; Seattle Center, South Lake Union and Ballard in 2035; Paine Field and Everett in 2036; and South Kirkland and Issaquah in 2041.