Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo joined Congressman Adam Smith and other state and local officials June 24 for the groundbreaking of the new passenger rail station in Tukwila, Wash.
The $46 million Tukwila Station project, which received $14.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, will reconstruct and enhance the temporary station that’s currently in place, transforming it into a modern, multi-modal transportation hub.
“President Obama is committed to modernizing our nation’s transportation infrastructure and bringing more good transportation choices to all Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The Tukwila Station project will make connections between car, rail and bus easier and more efficient for thousands of area residents and visitors.”
The project involves construction of a new passenger rail station in Tukwila, including two new platforms, a parking lot with long-term parking for Amtrak patrons, an improved pedestrian underpass and enhanced passenger amenities, creating a modernized train station for Amtrak Cascades, Sound Transit (ST) commuter rail, ST Express and King County Metro Transit Bus customers.
The project received a portion of its funding from the FRA’s $814 million investment in the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR) dedicated to the Pacific Northwest. These funds are paying for upgrades to one of the busiest intercity passenger rail corridors in the nation, which runs between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore. The upgrades are essential, as the number of roundtrips between Portland and Seattle is expected to increase by 50 percent in just five years.
Later in the day, the FRA administrator joined officials from BNSF Railway and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to tour portions of the Pacific Northwest Corridor affected by recent mudslides. The FRA is investing $16.1 million in HSIPR funds to alleviate mudslide problems there. The slope stabilization project, which commences this summer, will improve stability and construct catchment walls at six locations in and around the Seattle/Everett area.
“With congestion already costing Seattle and Portland $2.7 billion annually, it's important that we improve safety, reliability and trip times,” Szabo said. “The slope stabilization project set to begin this summer in Washington is fundamental to safety and will enhance reliability for passengers and freight.”