Sound Transit to start building new Sounder station in Tukwila

Sound Transit will start construction this month on a new $46 million Sounder Station. - Sound Transit
Sound Transit will start construction this month on a new $46 million Sounder Station.
— image credit: Sound Transit

Sound Transit will start construction Monday on a new $46 million Tukwila Sounder Station to replace the temporary facility.

A groundbreaking ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Monday, June 24, at the station, 7301 Longacres Way. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2014.

“The goal of this project is to accommodate current and future demand for ridership on a popular commuter rail route that serves up to 10,400 boardings each weekday by improving rider access to this location,” said Kimberly Reason, Sound Transit spokeswoman, in an email.

Voters in 1996 approved the Sound Move ballot measure, which included Tukwila Station as one of nine stations that serve South Line Sounder. That measure approved Sound Transit’s regional transit authority (RTA) taxing base of a 0.9 retail sales tax as well as a 0.3 percent vehicle license tabs tax for those in the Sound Transit district.

Sound Transit delayed construction of a permanent station to allow the cities of Tukwila and Renton to complete their long-range transportation plans, Reason said. Sound Transit opened the temporary facility in 2000.

“Now that these planning efforts are complete, Sound Transit is able to move forward with construction of the permanent station,” Reason said.

Sound Transit is funding the station through its retail sales tax and vehicle license tab tax as well as $14.2 million in grants. That includes $8 million in federal High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail funds; $4.6 million in Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds; and $1.5 million in FTA formula funds.

Besides serving Sound Transit riders, the station also handles Amtrak’s four trains per day and numerous King County Metro Transit buses, including the new Rapid Ride F system to begin in June 2014 that will operate between Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila and Renton. That bus service will replace Route 140.

There also are a variety of other bus routes that meet the commuter trains and link the commuter train passengers to their work sites throughout Tukwila, South Seattle and Renton, said Moira Carr Bradshaw, a Tukwila city planner.

“The services offered by all the station’s transportation partners is a great benefit for the city’s businesses, employers, and residents,” Carr Bradshaw said.

The improvements with a permanent station include 390 parking spaces (up from 208); improved walkways for pedestrians and bicyclists and a secure bicycle structure to hold 40 bikes as well as bike lockers and racks to hold 36 other bicycles.

The station will feature two 600-foot long platforms with shelters, ramps, stairs and ticket vending machines. Crews also will improve the underpass connecting the two platforms.

The temporary station will remain open during construction of the new station along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks.

Planning partners with Sound Transit for the station include the City of Tukwila; City of Renton; King County Metro Transit; BNSF Railway; Amtrak; Boeing Company; and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The details

What: Sounder Station Groundbreaking Ceremony

When: 10 a.m. Monday, June 24

Where: 7301 Longacres Way

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