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Feds approve project to reroute trains through Lakewood

Post by Christian Hill / The News Tribune on March 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm with 4 Comments »
March 4, 2013 4:11 pm

The Federal Railroad Administration has approved the proposed rerouting of Amtrak passenger trains through DuPont, Lakewood and South Tacoma following a three-year review that determined the project would not result in significant adverse impacts on the environment.

The decision was announced Monday. The draft environmental study had been released for public review and comment in October.

With the most significant regulatory hurdle behind it, the Washington State Department of Transportation can now finish the design and complete construction using $89 million in federal stimulus funding. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and the first trains are scheduled to run on the new route two years later.

State officials say rerouting the trains from the congested Point Defiance run would decrease travel times through the Nisqually-Tacoma corridor by up to 10 minutes, improve safety and permit more trains to run between Portland and Seattle.

“Incremental  successes, like this one, are critical to helping states and regions achieve their long-term vision for higher performing passenger rail service,” Joseph Szabo, the federal agency’s administrator, said in a statement.

Lakewood and DuPont both have raised public safety and other concerns as a result of passenger trains speeding through their communities at up to 79 mph.

The decision is subject to appeal, and Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson said Monday the City Council will consider its options, including taking the project to court.

You’re invited to follow Christian Hill on Twitter @TNTchill.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. MissDewar says:

    Three year review to determine significant impacts on the environment? Good grief, what a total waste of time and tax money. Pathetic!!!

  2. DavidAnderson says:

    We’ve a website – http://www.communitymattersweb.com – totally dedicated to High Speed Fail.

  3. Glad to hear this project is finally leaving the station. Now, Lakewood should be lobbying for an Amtrak stop at the Sound Transit Station. for as much complaining as i have heard about this project, i have not seen a single complaint about the Sounder Commuter Trains going through Lakewood on their runs to Seattle and Back. If the trains were really that much of a nuisance, there would have been complaints from every corner by now.

  4. $89 million to save 10 minutes of travel time. Now I know why the government is broke.

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