Sound Transit Board selects HDR Engineering for Tacoma Link Expansion final design

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Project moves into final design as agency advances work to expand light rail service to Stadium, Hilltop districts

The Sound Transit Board of Directors today selected HDR Engineering, Inc. to provide final design services for the Tacoma Link Expansion and an expanded maintenance facility. When open, the 2.4-mile extension will connect riders from the Stadium and Hilltop districts to a 1.6-mile line that currently operates between the Theater District and Tacoma Dome.

“This is exciting news for Tacoma’s residents, businesses and community organizations,” said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “Moving forward with final design means we are on track to start construction in 2018 as planned.”

The extension from the Theater District to Hilltop will operate primarily in-street along Stadium Way, North 1st Street, Division Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr., Way. It will include a relocated station in the Theater District and six new stations at Stadium Way and South 4th Street, the Stadium District, Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Division Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 6th Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South 11th Street, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South 19th Street. The project also includes an expansion of the existing Tacoma Operations and Maintenance Facility at 824 E. 25th St.

In 2008, voters approved a funding partnership to expand Tacoma Link. Funded in part by Sound Transit 2 tax revenues and City of Tacoma contributions, the project has also received a $75 million Small Starts grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The City and Sound Transit have secured $33 million in federal and state grants toward the expansion, including a $15 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and are identifying an additional $7 million to complete the City’s $40 million contribution to the project.

The existing 1.6-mile light rail line serves six stations between the Theater District and the Tacoma Dome. Trains run every 12 minutes and provide nearly a million rides per year.