Tacoma Trestle Project Comment Opportunity

Last month WSDOT presented the latest plans for the new Tacoma Amtrak station at Freighthouse Square to the public. The new plans, which would put the station in the middle of the 100-year-old building, were better received than the original plans, which some dubbed the “Amshak.”

The new plans emphasize wood construction to match the old building on either side, rather than the original steel and glass design that would have replaced the western end of Freighthouse Square. The new design includes big windows, some of which could be opened garage door-style on nice days. There may not be funding for a raised pedestrian crossing or a clock tower, but there's room for their inclusion, if funding can be found.

These new design plans will now go to the next steps, and if all goes according to plan, WSDOT expects to begin construction in 2015, and have the new Amtrak route open for service in 2017.

As WSDOT moves forward on the new Amtrak station, Sound Transit is also moving ahead on its replacement of the 100-year-old Tacoma Trestle just to the east of Freighthouse Square. The project will replace the old wooden single-track trestle with a new double-track trestle to increase capacity and improve reliability of the trestle, which will handle Sound Transit’s Sounder trains and Amtrak trains, as well as Tacoma Rail freight. (In the image below the new Amtrak station location is marked in red, the beginning of the trestle is visible on the left.)

The trestle project, originally approved by voters in 2008 as part of the ST2 expansion plan, was originally planned for 2023, but will be able to go ahead sooner thanks to $9.1 million in grant funding recently awarded by the Puget Sound Regional Council. The new funding will allow construction to begin in 2016, moving the completion date up to 2017, allowing it to accommodate increased traffic from the new Amtrak route.

At a public meeting scheduled for November 13 Sound Transit will share preliminary structural design plans for the trestle and adjacent platform, discuss “timing for aesthetic elements,” and next steps for the Tacoma Trestle project as a whole. Learn more about the project on the Sound Transit project page.

Our question is whether they'll take any cues from an old David Boe Imagine Tacoma design for the Pacific Avenue crossing...

Learn more about the Sound Transit Tacoma Trestle public meeting here.


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