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Tag: Sound Transit


Tacoma: Council tentatively picks downtown-to-Hilltop route as its preferred option to extend Link

Tacoma’s train appears headed to the Hilltop.

After months of process, the City Council on Tuesday finally signaled where it wants the Link light rail line to expand first, with a majority of members tentatively choosing a proposed extension route from downtown to the Hilltop.

Six of the council’s nine members selected as their top or second choice the so-called “E1 North Downtown Central Corridor” – a hook-shaped, 2.3 mile route estimated to cost $133 million. The preferred option would extend the Link from downtown to the Stadium District and around to Sixth Avenue, then south along the Martin Luther

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Tacoma City Council expected to tentatively pick preferred route to extend Link next week

A week from today, Tacoma’s City Council is expected to finally choose a preferred route to extend Sound Transit’s Link light rail system.

“We’re going to show our hands next week,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said Tuesday.

The mayor’s comments came following a nearly two-hour presentation Tuesday during which Sound Transit staffers presented findings of the latest engineering analysis for extending the Link along two new potential route alternatives.

The city asked the regional transit authority to analyze the two so-called “hybrid” routes just before Sound Transit was ready to make a recommendation about several routes that previously had been

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Yet another “hybrid” alternative emerges as Sound Transit schedules April 11 open house on potential extensions for Tacoma Link

Sound Transit announced today that it has scheduled an open house on April 11 so the public can weigh in on two new “hybrid corridors” among five potential routes to expand Tacoma Link.

As we wrote last week, Tacoma city officials formally asked the regional transit authority to include a new “hybrid corridor” proposal in its analysis of potential Link extension options.

Now, in a press release issued today, Sound Transit says it’s also “evaluating another `hybrid’ corridor suggested by members of a citizens’ stakeholder roundtable group that convened as part of the alternatives analysis for the project.”

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Environmental study sought for Federal Way light rail

There’s still no money available to bring light rail to Federal Way, but Democratic state Sen. Tracey Eide and Republican King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer say Sound Transit should spend what it does have on a planning process that will position it for the day when there is money.

The goal is federal approval of a route to Federal Way. Sound Transit says having a plan will help it compete for federal and state grants and other money that could bring that day closer.

A proposal von Reichbauer unveiled today and will make to the rest of the Sound Transit board

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Federal Way looks for way to secede from Sound Transit

Federal Way is firing a shot across the bow of Sound Transit.

The city is upset that Sound Transit expects to scrap plans to bring light rail to Federal Way by 2023 as part of the $17.9 billion mass transit measure voters approved in 2008. The agency’s tax revenues from South King County have dropped by nearly a third, so the agency plans to delay the extension to South 272nd Street until 2034 or later.

Now six proposals tied to Sound Transit have surfaced in the Legislature with backing from Federal Way.

None of them would bring more trains

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UPDATE: Pacific Avenue won’t close until at least June due to Sound Transit project delays

UPDATE: Apr. 12 5:10p.m.: See comments section for clarification.

It was supposed to happen four months ago. But a rail project’s partial shutdown of Pacific Avenue in Tacoma’s Dome District now likely won’t occur for at least two more months, a Sound Transit spokeswoman said today.

“As far as Pacific Avenue, we’re going to end up closing it as early as June,” said Kimberly Reason, a spokeswoman for the regional transit authority. “We haven’t set a specific date yet.”

Reason cited unexpected soil contamination, as well as storm water and sewage drainage issues as causing construction delays on

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Bidder: Sound Transit disqualification for Tacoma project will cost taxpayers $800,000

Last week, we wrote about the progress of the long-awaited commuter rail line slated to connect south Tacoma to Lakewood. Sound Transit officials briefed Tacoma City Council members, telling them the project likely will kick off early this fall.

But there was one hitch, Sound Transit officials said: Due to a protest to the bidding process, there was a delay in the formal award of the contract for the construction work on the so-called “D to M Street” project in Tacoma’s Dome District.

In all, Sound Transit received seven bids for the project, with the lowest — a $40.8 million bid from MidMountain– coming in well below the agency’s $66.4 million estimate for the project.

But ultimately, Sound Transit disqualified that bid — on the grounds that MidMountain did not properly submit all required paperwork. Officials for the regional transit agency have said its board plans to award the contract instead to the next lowest bidder, PCL Construction Services, which came in with a $41.6 million bid.

A recommendation to award the contract to PCL will go before the board for official authorization at its meeting on August 26, Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason said today.

But MidMountain hasn’t given up the fight. The Kirkland-based firm is poised to file its second formal protest to Sound Transit tomorrow (the company lost in its first appeal bid filed to the agency last week). The company is also now working with Seattle public relations firm, Firmani + Associates, Inc., to make their case: That ultimately it’s the taxpayers who stand to lose — to the tune of $800,000 — due to what MidMountain complains is little more than a minor paperwork snafu.

According to a press release issued today by PR consultant Mark Firmani, MidMountain was 20 minutes late in providing Sound Transit officials with a required form that certifies the company didn’t (and won’t) use federal money to lobby for the bid.

Firmani also told me in a phone call today that the form actually had been prepared as part of the firm’s bid packet, but was overlooked by a company representative who submitted the paperwork.

“It’s really the nightmare for anyone who’s ever turned in a homework assignment late,” Firmani said. The company staffer who submitted the bid accidentally “failed to empty out the entire brief case, leaving one form inside,” Firmani added.
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We’re No. 2! Central Link is second most-expensive transit project of decade

According to The Infrastructurist, the Central Link portion of Sound Transit’s light rail system is the second priciest in the nation over the last decade. And the only reason it is No. 2 is because the website included Puerto Rico.

The Tren Urbino in San Juan is the most expensive at $2.63 billion with Central Link at $2.4 billion. Third is the Hudson-Bergen, New Jersey light rail line.

The link takes you to a slide show with all 10.