Freighthouse Square Station Workshop Update 3/5/14
Close to 60 community representatives participated in a workshop for the new Freighthouse Square station location on February 19. The Washington Department of Transportation, Amtrak station design team, and City of Tacoma’s architect provided concept drawings for the station location, spanning westside, central and eastside areas of the Freighthouse Square building.
The interactive workshop was the third public meeting to gather feedback on the new station. WSDOT updated the community on the public outreach process and summarized what was heard at the two previous station conversations. The city’s architect described the features, benefits, challenges and guiding principle ratings for each station location. Because the city’s architect evaluated potential improvements for the entire building, other drawing elements included live/work spaces, retail and restaurants. WSDOT showed photos of existing Amtrak stations and described each station's ownership structure (pdf 993kb).
“These drawings are a work in progress,” said David Smelser, WSDOT’s Cascades rail program manager. “Federal funding will pay for the new Amtrak station. For additional building improvements, private or public partners, like the city, will be needed.”
The community toured the boards displaying the concepts and talked one-on-one with WSDOT’s station design team and city’s architect. The meeting wrapped up with the attendees giving ideas on what they liked or didn’t like about the station locations. The February 19 workshop comments and other comments provided to WSDOT will be considered during the development of a preferred location. A comment form is available online.
The preferred location concept will be presented to the community at the Amtrak Station Relocation Citizens Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 12, 4-6 p.m. at the City of Tacoma, 747 Market Street, Room 708. Another public meeting will follow in July 2014 on the preferred building method and materials. The schedule (pdf 175kb) calls for preliminary design to occur July to October 2014, before it goes to the Federal Railroad Administration for approval. Construction is planned for late 2015/early 2016, and will be completed one year later.