Continuing yesterday’s article with projects South of Downtown.
Seattle: I may have been seeing things this morning but it appears the the King Street Station clock has stopped working. I’ll e-mail the City of Seattle on Monday if it appears that way.
Construction bids for the new Seattle Amtrak Maintenance Facility seem to be slow. So far, only McGraw-Hill Construction appears to be the only bidder Construction is estimated to take 36 to 40 months. This would provide about 382 jobs according to Recovery.org. More below the jump.
Kent/Puyallup: Two overpasses will open up this year. South 228th Street in Kent and Shaw Rd in Puyallup, both, will cross over the BNSF mainline. There is currently more than $170 million dollars in grade separation projects for the Kent area alone however there is no funding available for the projects.
Construction for an expanded Puyallup Station parking is progressing nicely and should open soon. This will add more than 200 parking spots at the “Red Lot” on the Puyallup Fair Grounds. Passengers will use the ST/PT Route 495 to shuttle them between the parking lot and the Sounder Station. It is also a short walk on those nice sunny warm days that we have here.
Tacoma/Lakewood: WUTC has approved $20,000 in Grade Crossing Protection funds to Tacoma Rail to fence in the old Milwaukee Road Wooden Trestle. The fence is needed as transients frequently loiter and dump garbage beneath the railroad trestle posing security risks and safety hazards.
Sound Transit has updated visuals for D Street to M Street project. This has been hotly debated with a few citizens and businesses whom believe the Post and Beam method will be better suited for future development. The Tacoma City Council pushed an agreement for the berm design instead last week.
Construction on the M Street to Lakewood Segment is progressing very well. RailWorks Inc is currently rebuilding the rail line for future Sounder trains to South Tacoma and Lakewood Stations. Along with track improvements, the 11 grade crossings will be improved with new lights and gates. Train speed will increase from 10mph to 60 to 70mph As far as I know, there are no current plans to make the M Street to Lakewood line 79mph until after Lakewood Station… A new layover yard for Sounder will be built just North of Lakewood Station. WSDOT’s portion of the line has been pushed back to 2017 unless funding can be secured. Completion of the Point Defiance Bypass is one of the few prerequisites for the 5th Amtrak Cascades round trip.
Tenino: Earlier this year, BNSF completed installation of a new high speed crossover in Tenino, Washington. This is one of many new 50mph crossovers and one of the 3 crossovers required for the 5th Amtrak Cascades round trip.
Vancouver: BNSF is marching on with the Vancouver Rail Bypass. This project is now slightly ahead of schedule thanks to the additional funding allocated by WSDOT. This project should be completed in 2013, including the new 39th Street Overpass over the rail yard.
Amtrak Cascades News: WSDOT will be progressing with upgrades along the BNSF Seattle Subdivision. As mentioned above, there are four prerequisites before the 5th Cascades train can begin. The first being the replacement of the old Milwaukee Road single track bridge to a new double track steel structure, new platform at Freighthouse Square, the Point Defiance Bypass and relocation of Amtrak to Freighthouse Square, and three new cross overs. Tenino was the first to be completed.
WSDOT will upgrade two existing 30mph crossovers to newer 50mph crossovers at Chehalis Jct and Wabash. This leaves Pioneer, Nisqually, Plumb, Centralia South, Napavine South, Vader, Milepost 85, Ostander, Kelso South, Longview Jct South, Milepost 111, Ridgefield South, and Vancouver Jct. North to be upgraded in order to reach continue our increase of passenger trains, among other needed upgrades.