HDR to Plan Tacoma Dome Light Rail Extension, New Maintenance Facility
Project Will Complete Sound Transit Service Between Seattle and Tacoma
HDR will support the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) in planning the final extension needed to complete light rail service between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. The Tacoma Dome Link Extension (TDLE) project will advance a reliable transit alternative to severely congested roadways in the South Sound corridor.
Sound Transit’s board of directors authorized a contract with HDR’s team on Dec. 21 to provide planning, preliminary engineering, environmental and public involvement services. HDR will support the 15.6 km light rail transit extension with four new transit stations and a new operations and maintenance facility.
The TDLE project will continue south from Sound Transit’s previous light rail project, the Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE). Service on the TDLE project is expected to begin in 2030. The alignment will continue through South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma, and it will terminate near the Tacoma Dome transit hub, with connections to the Tacoma Link urban rail transit system, Amtrak, and Sounder commuter rail service.
“With four new LRT stations, Sound Transit and the cities in the corridor will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform station areas into vibrant new station-communities,” HDR Project Manager Sharon Kelly said. “While Sound Transit has defined a representative alignment and general station locations, we will help them refine both in ways that benefit these cities for generations.”
Public involvement will dominate planning activities for the next three years. HDR’s team will lead stakeholder engagement, inviting the public, and property and business owners, to weigh in along with four municipalities, three transportation agencies, two counties and one tribal government. The TDLE alignment also will pass through natural resource lands, crossing streams and the Puyallup River, bringing the first urban rail transit stop to Puyallup Tribe of Indians' lands.
“Public involvement activities will rely on our proven approach to communicating complex technical data in formats diverse groups of stakeholders can understand and therefore consider when making decisions,” Kelly said.
Among the project’s first challenges will be finding a site for a new Link operations and maintenance facility, which is needed for this project and the larger Link system to store and maintain light rail vehicles. HDR’s recent acquisition, HDR | Maintenance Design Group, brings unique qualifications to plan and design a custom, purpose-built facility that’s embraced by the community around it.
“This project will improve mobility for all, support economic growth and enhance quality of life for the thousands of people who live and travel along the South Sound corridor each day,” HDR Transit Director Tom Waldron said. “We’re proud and excited to continue our partnership with Sound Transit to bring another tailored transit solution to the region.”
About HDR’s Transit Experience
Because transit is not one size fits all, we help clients with everything from navigating the FAST Act and other funding alternatives, to managing program development and design, to providing construction management for new and established systems. Our wide-ranging portfolio includes managing the San Diego Mid-Coast Corridor Transit project, the Government Center Station renovation design in Boston, the Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study in Toronto and consulting on every phase of the new Kansas City modern streetcar. In addition to planning and engineering, our experts help clients with strategic funding, economic analysis, public engagement, real estate services, program/project controls, risk management and operations and maintenance.
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.