Sound Transit's first construction project gets underway with ground-breaking ceremony in Auburn

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With a turn of gold-painted shovels, Sound Transit Boardmember and Sumner City Councilmember David Enslow and Auburn Mayor Chuck Booth broke ground at the site of the future Auburn Sounder train station, the first of numerous construction projects coming from Sound Transit. 

The $4.2 million first phase of the Auburn station will feature 600-foot long platforms with brick pillars supporting metal and glass canopies. A distinctive architectural feature and future landmark will be a clock tower topping the central canopy structure. Customer-focused conveniences include benches, pedestrian walkways, information kiosks, wheel chair ramps, state-of-the-art ticket vending machines and connections to bike lanes. Buses from Sound Transit's ST Express and King County Metro will access the station on a bus-only street and serve riders at five shelters adjacent to the train platform.

Enslow had high praise for the spirit of partnership on the entire Sounder project between Sound Transit, local communities, transit partners, state and federal agencies, the railway companies and support from the state's congressional delegation. "The Auburn Sounder train station is a great example of how our entire region can continue moving forward by working together," Enslow said. 

The Auburn Sounder train station will be one of 14 stations along the 82-mile Sounder train system using existing Burlington Northern/Santa Fe railways serving the cities of Lakewood, Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila, Seattle, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Everett. The 40-mile line between Tacoma and Seattle is scheduled to offer demonstration runs by the end of this year with commuter service to begin in early 2000. In early 2001, Sounder trains will extend service north to Everett and south to Lakewood. 

Magnolia Contractors, Inc. of Seattle, a certified M/W/DBE small business, will build the station and Anil Verma Associates of Kirkland designed it.

Sounder is just one part of Sound Move, the regional transit plan approved by voters in 1996 which also includes the development a 21-mile Link light rail line between SeaTac and Northgate; a 1.6-mile downtown Tacoma Link light rail line; and the Regional Express program which includes at least 18 new limited-stop ST Express bus routes and numerous improvements to transit centers, park-and-ride lots and HOV lanes throughout the region.

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