Sound Transit installs elevated tracks over S. 320th Street at Federal Way


Sound Transit installs elevated tracks over S. 320th Street at Federal Way

The elevated light rail tracks bring the completion of the Federal Way Link extension one step closer.



Federal Way’s downtown landscape is rapidly changing with the recent installation of elevated light rail tracks above South 320th Street.

On July 27, Sound Transit installed the Federal Way Link extension tracks on the main Federal Way route. The elevated light rail tracks are the first infrastructure built on South 320th Street in the city’s history.

Concrete pathways connect the Federal Way Link extension route to the Tacoma Dome Link extension route, which begins on the south side of 320th Street at the corner of the mall parking lot near the Target store.

The Tacoma Dome route will add about 10 miles to the regional light rail system and the first service could begin in 2032, according to Sound Transit.

For the Federal Way Link Extension, three stations will serve the 7.8-mile extension from Angle Lake to SeaTac to Federal Way scheduled to open in 2024.

The new Federal Way Downtown station was recently named, approved by the Sound Transit Board who approved the name at their June 23 meeting. From this station, the route connects to the Tacoma Dome line and runs along I-5 south.

Near South 348th Street to Federal Way, the preferred alternative route runs through Enchanted Parkway South by Costco where the scheme plans to have a South Federal Way station near South 352nd Street – not yet named – before continuing to Fife and the center -City of Tacoma, according to Sound Transit Project Maps.

No decision has been made regarding the South Federal Way station, said John Gallagher, media relations supervisor for Sound Transit. But the Enchanted Parkway alternative was considered the preferred alternative by the board of directors in 2019.

Confirmation or modifications of the preferred alternatives will take place after the publication of the draft environmental impact statement.

The Sound Transit board will confirm preferred alternate routes and stations, but no specific date has been set, according to Gallagher.

In December 2021, the board approved the South 336th Street site at Federal Way as the preferred alternative for the Operations and Maintenance (OMF) South facility.

The alternate South 336th Street location is a 59-acre site between South 336th Street and South 341st Place and between I-5 and Pacific Highway 99. The cost is expected to be approximately $1.2-1.4 billion.

OMF South will house 144 light rail vehicles for maintenance, cleaning and storage; it will also provide 470 union jobs with living wages with an expected opening in late 2029.

If confirmed as a site, the South 336th Street location will displace approximately 73 residents and two churches. The Sound Transit board is expected to confirm the location later this year.

Cars drive under the newly installed elevated tracks at Federal Way on July 28. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

The tracks for the Federal Way Link Extension were installed on the night of July 27.  Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

The tracks for the Federal Way Link Extension were installed on the night of July 27. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

The Federal Way Link extension lanes connect to the future Tacoma Dome Link extension road, which begins at Federal Way.  Olivia Sullivan/the mirror

The Federal Way Link extension lanes connect to the future Tacoma Dome Link extension road, which begins at Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the mirror

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