TUKWILA, WASH.—On February 18, 2015, civic leaders and residents of Tukwila and neighboring Renton gathered to dedicate the new, permanent Tukwila intermodal station. Featured speakers included U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Congressman Adam Smith, Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine and Washington State Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton.
The approximately $46 million facility includes two concrete platforms, covered waiting areas, pedestrian underpass, bus transfer plaza, 390 parking spaces and bicycle storage racks and lockers. Artwork by artist Sheila Klein, incorporating steel, lighting, mirrored panels and shrubbery, creates a beacon for approaching travelers. Tukwila is served by Sounder commuter trains and eight daily Amtrak Cascades(Vancouver, B.C. – Seattle – Portland – Eugene, Ore.) frequencies. It is also a busy hub for and Metro Transit buses.
According to a Sound Transit news release, Senator Murray told the crowd: “Expanding our rail system is an important step toward building a strong foundation for long-term economic growth that will help families and businesses throughout Washington state…This station will continue to link communities throughout the region, support local businesses and help commuters every day.”
The station project was funded by Sound Transit with the addition of federal grants, including $4.6 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds disbursed through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and $1.5 million in FTA Fixed Guideway funds. The project also received $7.4 million from the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, part of a larger $814 million investment in the Pacific Northwest states that is helping to upgrade the vital rail corridor between Eugene and Vancouver, B.C. The busy corridor is shared by transit agencies, Amtrak and private freight railroads. Numerous projects will relieve congestion, provide modern infrastructure and allow for future capacity increases.
In addition to regional transit agencies and the cities of Tukwila and Renton, the planning process involved Amtrak, the Washington State Department of Transportation and BNSF Railway, owner of the tracks used by Sounder and Amtrak Cascades trains.
In Fiscal Year 2014, more than 28,000 Amtrak travelers began or ended their journey at the Tukwila station. The Amtrak Cascades service is primarily financed through funds made available by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation.