The Sound Transit Board of Directors today identified a preferred alternative and other alternatives to study for the 9.7 mile Tacoma Dome Link Extension project.
The Board action culminates 18 months of vigorous public engagement with community organizations, neighborhood groups, agency partners, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and local elected officials.
“While I’m disappointed that we are not advancing a cut-and-cover option at the Tacoma Dome, I’m dedicated to working alongside Sound Transit to ensure the Dome District and the City of Tacoma receives a station that is integrated into the community, reflects high quality design, and showcases how Sound Transit and the Puget Sound region are leaders in transit oriented development.,” said Tacoma Mayor and Sound Transit Boardmember Victoria Woodards. “I remain committed to ensuring regional light rail gets to Tacoma, and because of this I stand with my fellow Sound Transit Boardmembers in advancing alternatives for the Tacoma Dome Link project into environmental study.”
The early public engagement toward identifying a preferred alternative as well as other alternatives to study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is part of a process designed to meet the expedited project completion targets in the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. Construction is set to begin in early 2020 to complete light rail between SeaTac and Federal Way in 2024. To further extend service all the way to Tacoma by 2030 Sound Transit is working to publish the DEIS in 2021, select a final alignment in 2022 and break ground in 2025.
“The City of Fife is excited to bring fast, reliable regional light rail to our residents,” said Fife Mayor and Sound Transit Boardmember Kim Roscoe. “As elected officials we welcome the abundant economic opportunities, transit-oriented development and traffic relief that light rail brings to our community.”
As part of the expedited process Sound Transit convened a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) and an Elected Leadership Group (ELG) to advise the Board. These groups considered technical evaluation results and community input to recommend alternatives with the most promise for study in the DEIS phase.
“Residents of Pierce County want us to deliver the Tacoma Dome Link Extension on time and on budget,” said University Place Mayor and Sound Transit Boardmember Kent Keel. “The preferred alternative chosen by the Elected Leadership Group and approved by the Board will help us meet that goal.”
“The Tacoma Dome Link extension will connect Pierce County residents to SeaTac airport in 35 reliable minutes – even faster than the trip from downtown Seattle. Pierce residents well also be able to easily and affordably reach jobs, entertainment and other destinations within our 116-mile regional system,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “As traffic keeps worsening Link and Sounder will continue expanding to give people choices for escaping gridlock.”
Sound Transit in coordination with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will prepare the DEIS, followed by a public and agency comment period in late 2020. The Sound Transit Board would then confirm or modify the Preferred Alternative after consideration of the environmental evaluation as well as additional public and agency engagement. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is anticipated to be complete in 2022, after which the Board will select the project to be built and seek a Record of Decision from the FTA.
When construction is complete in 2030, the Tacoma Dome Link Extension will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to South King and Pierce counties.
A full list of all Board motions can be found at www.soundtransit.org/motions
More information on this project and to sign up for project updates visit www.soundtransit.org/tdlink.