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Additional route and station options identified for study in the Draft EIS
During the project’s alternatives development phase in 2018/2019, we conducted extensive engagement and outreach to identify alternatives for further study in the Draft EIS. This work included screening alternatives against a variety of measures, based on early design concepts. The alternatives were narrowed down through this process to streamline and accelerate planning for system expansion projects. As a result, the Draft EIS included a single station in Fife and a single route in South Federal Way/Milton. Since that time, we’ve advanced design and environmental review. As a result, we recognized the need to introduce additional alternatives.
On March 23, 2023, the Sound Transit Board identified additional route alternatives with associated stations in South Federal Way and station options in Fife for study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. To bring these additions up to the same level of evaluation as our existing alternatives, we are delaying Draft EIS publication to mid-2024. These updates affect the start of service for the Tacoma Dome Link, which we now anticipate opening in 2035.
More fieldwork underway
You may start to see crews conducting land and water surveys along the project corridor, to better understand conditions on and surrounding the project alternatives. Fieldwork will continue throughout the environmental review phase of the project. It may include noise and vibration monitoring, wetland delineation, environmental site assessments, and more.
This work is part of the environmental process to fully understand the existing conditions of the TDLE alternatives and the environments surrounding them in the Draft EIS.
Depending on the type of work being done, you may see us dropping off a flyer or crews with safety vests directing you to sources for more information.
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Expanding regional light rail from Federal Way to Tacoma
The Tacoma Dome Link Extension will add nearly 10 miles to our regional light rail system, via mostly elevated tracks between Federal Way and Tacoma. This project includes four new light rail stations in the South Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma/Portland Avenue and Tacoma Dome areas. These stations will also provide connections to other regional transit services like the Sounder S Line, the Link T Line, ST Express, King County Metro, Pierce Transit, Intercity Transit and Amtrak.
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Map showing the Tacoma Dome Link Extension project. The project starts at the Federal Way Transit Center with a route traveling south with a station area in South Federal Way in the vicinity of Federal Way Crossings shopping center. The route continues south and curves west to enter a station area in Fife. The route continues west to cross over the Puyallup River to enter two station areas, one near Portland Avenue and one near the Tacoma Dome, where the project ends.
TDLE is currently in the planning phase. The routes and stations we are studying are called "alternatives." In most of the corridor, the Sound Transit Board identified a "preferred alternative,” which indicates a preference, and other alternatives to study in the Draft EIS.
Learn more about the upcoming EIS process
An Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS for short, provides Tribal Nations, agencies and the public an understanding of a project's potential impacts to the natural and built environment, and it identifies ways to mitigate unavoidable impacts. Through this process, we analyze each alternative and design option, considering things like effects on historic and cultural resources, residential properties, businesses, communities, the local economy and other resources.
The project is now in environmental review. We expect to publish the Draft EIS in mid-2024. At that time, we'll invite Tribal Nations, agencies and the public to provide formal comments. After consideration of the Draft EIS and comments received, the Sound Transit Board will confirm or modify the preferred alternative for further study in the Final EIS, along with the other Draft EIS alternatives.
Next, we'll prepare a Final EIS, including updates as needed. The Final EIS will also include responses to substantive public, agency and Tribal comments submitted on the Draft EIS.
After the Final EIS is published, the Sound Transit Board will select the project to be built.
For property owners
Properties potentially affected by the additional route alternative and station option will be identified in the Draft EIS. We will notify potentially affected property owners before publication of the Draft EIS. Before then, contact us to request a briefing on the project or to learn more about Sound Transit’s property acquisition and relocation process. You can check out our TDLE project website, for more background on the project. We also recommend you sign up for project alerts so we can notify you directly whenever new information becomes available.
We're studying the following alternatives in the Federal Way Segment
- Preferred FW Enchanted
- Parkway FW Design Option
Note: SF Enchanted Parkway and SF I-5 are included in the South Federal Way segment.
We're studying the following alternatives in the South Federal Way Segment
- SF Enchanted Parkway
- SF I-5
- SF 99-West
- SF 99-East
- SF Porter Way Design Option
- SF Enchanted Parkway Station
- SF 352nd Span Station Option
- SF I-5 Station
- SF 99-Enchanted Station
- SF 99-352nd Station
Latest updates (March 2023)
The Sound Transit Board updated the designation of SF Enchanted Parkway generally from the SF Enchanted Parkway station to the south from “preferred alternative” to “other alternative for study in the Draft EIS.” The alignment north of the SF Enchanted Parkway station will remain identified as the preferred alternative (Preferred FW Enchanted Parkway). A preferred alternative from the station area to the south will be identified after the publication of the Draft EIS. We will continue to study SF Enchanted Parkway, SF I-5, and the additional alternatives, SF 99-West and SF 99-East, in the Draft and Final EIS.
When we shared the potential Pacific Highway route on our maps in early 2023, we mentioned that the potential route from Federal Way to Milton represented multiple potential alternatives, including on both sides of Pacific Highway and in the median. You’ll now see SF 99-West and SF 99-East alternatives on maps and for study in the Draft EIS, which is anticipated to be published in mid-2024. SF 99-East starts on the east side of Pacific Highway then transitions into the median near South 373rd Street. Studying both routes provides us flexibility to analyze mitigation of various potential impacts through this corridor.
We’re studying the following alternatives in the Fife Segment
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After leaving Federal Way, the Sound Transit Board’s Preferred Alternative route, Preferred Fife alternative, follows I-5 until it begins to gradually curve at Porter Way to briefly align and then cross over SR 99, also called Pacific Highway East. The route then curves northwest until it runs east-west, just south of 12th Street East. The route then enters the elevated Fife Station on the west side of 59th Avenue East, which is part of the preferred alternative. Federal regulations and guidance for floodplain management require us to consider alternatives found outside of the floodplain. We’re now proposing to study two more potential station options—the Fife 54th Span Station Option and Fife 54th-West Station Option—outside of the designated floodplain. For the routes we are studying in Fife and from the Preferred Fife alternative, one route would curve slightly north toward 12th Street East and cross over 54th Avenue East to enter Fife 54th-West Station with a southwest slanted orientation. Second, from the Preferred Fife alternative, the other route curves slightly south toward 15th Street East to enter Fife 54th Span Station, which spans 54th Avenue East just north of 15th Street East. After exiting the station, we are studying three route alternatives that travel west. The Fife Pacific Highway elevated route exits the station westward and crosses over 54th Avenue East before crossing and transitioning to the south side of Pacific Highway near Willow Road. This elevated route continues along the south side of Pacific Highway until it reaches 34th Avenue East where it transitions south to the north side of I-5 on its way to the Tacoma segment of the project. We are also studying a route called Fife Median. This route is similar to the Fife Pacific Highway route; however, it is elevated in the median of Pacific Highway until it reaches 34th Avenue East where it transitions south to the north side of I-5 on its way to the Tacoma segment of the project. Lastly, we are studying the Fife I-5 route. This route exits Fife Station westward and crosses over 54th Avenue East and veers south, crossing over Pacific Highway to gradually curve to align with the north side of I-5 on its way to the Tacoma segment of the project. All of these routes alternatives converge back to the preferred alternative route that crosses the Puyallup River en route to Tacoma.
- Preferred alternative (all Fife alternatives)
- Fife Pacific Highway
- Fife Median
- Fife I-5
- Fife 54th Avenue Design Option & Fife 54th Span Design Option
- Fife Station (Preferred)
- Fife 54th Avenue Station Option
- Fife 54th Span Station Option
Explore what we’re studying in the Portland Avenue station area of the Tacoma segment
The Tacoma Segment of the project will have two stations: at Portland Avenue and the Tacoma Dome. We’re studying the following alternatives in the Portland Avenue area:
- (Preferred) All Tacoma alternatives (Tacoma 25th Street-West)
- Portland Avenue Design Option
- Portland Avenue Station
- Portland Avenue Span Station Option
We will update our early conceptual designs as the project progresses.
Explore what we’re studying in the Tacoma Dome station area in the Tacoma segment
The Tacoma Segment of the project will have two stations: at Portland Avenue and the Tacoma Dome. We’re studying the following alternatives in the Tacoma Dome area:
- (Preferred) Tacoma 25th Street-West
- Tacoma Close to Sounder
- Tacoma 25th Street-East
- Tacoma 26th Street
- Tacoma 25th Street-West Station
- Tacoma Close to Sounder Station
- Tacoma 25th Street-East Station
- Tacoma 26th Street Station