Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Federal rail funding advances Seattle's King Street Station restoration

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Travelers using Seattle's historic King Street Station, grand and ornate when it opened in 1906, will be transported back to that era when seismic and utility upgrades and historic restoration work are complete in two years. 



The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration signed agreements on Nov. 21, securing $16.7 million in federal high-speed-rail funds to support the next phase of the King Street Station restoration project. The station is the busiest in the Pacific Northwest, serving nearly half a million Amtrak Cascades passengers in 2010. 



The investment will strengthen King Street Station and its clock tower to better withstand earthquakes, as well as restore the historical features of the station's main hall and upgrade electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems to modern standards. To restore the main hall to its original grandeur, the building's white marble walls, decorative lighting and other features removed during "modernization" of the station more than 50 years ago will be rehabilitated or replaced, where possible. Also, improvements to both the Jackson Street and King Street entrances will significantly improve the public's access to the station. 



The ongoing effort at King Street Station is a partnership between WSDOT, FRA, Amtrak, Federal Transit Administration and the city of Seattle, Wash.

The newest project, managed by the city of Seattle, is expected to start in early 2012 and support more than 100 jobs over a two-year period. Since the station will be in full operation during this renovation, WSDOT and the city are coordinating closely to minimize disruption to customers and the public. 



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