Sounder and Amtrak riders who travel through Tukwila have something to celebrate: Sound Transit broke ground today on construction of a permanent Sounder commuter rail station in Tukwila. The station will replace a temporary structure and offer 390 parking spaces, better transit connections, more bicycle storage, improved passenger shelters, and public art.

Joining in turning the first ceremonial shovels of dirt were U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and King County Council Vice Chair Julia Patterson, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, Sound Transit Boardmember and King County Executive Dow Constantine, State Rep. Steve Bergquist, and Tukwila City Council President Kathy Hougardy.

“Today marks a long-awaited milestone. Sounder rider access is improving in South King County,” said Julia Patterson. “Currently, more than 1,300 weekday boardings take place on average at the temporary Tukwila Station. Now, local residents and regional commuters will have a permanent Sounder Station in Tukwila for years to come.”


(The following letter from King Councilmember Julia Patterson is in response to a letter to her from Clyde Hill that was reprinted in the Highline Times.)

Thank you for reaching out to my office regarding this matter. You raise an important issue regarding transit-efficiently and effectively using public dollars, and I welcome the opportunity to address your concerns.

Let me assure you that King County Metro and Sound Transit are continually in communication regarding current transit services, as well as plans for future transit options. This ongoing communication is essential to providing quality transit service with as little redundancy as possible. In the case of Metro’s RapidRide A Line and Sound Transit’s plans to study extending Link light rail to the Federal Way Transit Center, both agencies provide unique services to riders and will operate during different periods of time.


(Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to the Port of Seattle with a copy to the Highline Times)

Dear Commissioners and Mr. Tay Yoshitani:
The City of Normandy Park congratulates the Port of Seattle on its effort to reduce storm water pollution from the airport, and better protect downstream communities from these water quality impacts.

For some time, our city has been concerned about impacts from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport storm water discharges to waterways upstream of our City. In particular this includes, Lake Reba, Miller Creek, and Walker Creek.

Over the last decade, the Port of Seattle has made a substantial investment in upgrading the airport’s storm water system, and implementing new treatment in a number of locations.

Investments have included re-routing of more contaminated storm water locations to the Port’s Industrial Wastewater System, constructing new, or enlarging existing storm water ponds, and putting additional treatment/filtration online to provide an additional polishing of storm water prior to release to the waters of the state.


Press release:

After a highly successful pilot program, the Port of Seattle is extending live music performances through the end of the year at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

A twelve-week pilot program began in March with live music performances from local, Northwest artists at multiple locations in the terminal as part of the Sea-Tac Airport Experience The City of Music program - a cooperative effort by the Port of Seattle, Seattle Music Commission and PlayNetwork.

“There has been a tremendously positive response from the traveling public for the live performances,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “Passengers have been pleasantly surprised by the entertainment and our performers have received encouraging feedback. It really does improve the passenger experience and celebrate our unique Northwest musical heritage. ”

Two live music performances will continue to take place Monday through Friday, ranging between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at various locations throughout the terminal, both pre- and post-security.

Trains run every 10 – 15 minutes from 9 p.m. to closing

Press release:

Link light rail will resume its normal nighttime operating schedule beginning Monday, June 10.

Sound Transit contractors have completed installing a new sound wall along the light rail tracks near the Duwamish River in Tukwila. The work forced delays through the area and was originally anticipated to last through July.

Now that the work is finished early, Link light rail trains will again run every ten minutes from 9 – 10 p.m. and every 15 minutes from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. on weeknights.

Detailed schedule information is available here:

Port capitalizes on open space to increase the hardiness of Northwest bees

Port of Seattle press release:

Sea-Tac Airport’s newest residents, 500,000 honeybees, have joined ranks with the 777s and other aircraft that call the airport home.

Made possible through a partnership with the Port of Seattle and the nonprofit The Common Acre, the project — named Flight Path — makes Sea-Tac one of the first airports in the country to feature an apiary. 

Six hives sit at three vacant, undeveloped sites near the airfield.

Like most airports, Sea-Tac has large tracts of open land that provide an added buffer for both safety and noise mitigation such as the runway protection zones

With open space around the airfield and bee populations in decline, the airport is uniquely suited to host honeybees and other pollinators. The long-term goal is to promote hardy bee populations in the region by increasing their genetic diversity and supporting them with adequate habitat.


SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs press release:

Today the SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative takes a major step forward as supporters will file more than 2,500 signatures and call on the city to place the initiative on the November 2013 ballot. Only 1,541 valid signatures are required to qualify the measure in the city.

It took airport workers and their community supporters less than 4 weeks of door-to-door canvassing to collect the signatures. The signature total represents nearly half of all SeaTac residents who voted in the 2011 general election.

Workers and their supporters will deliver their signatures to the SeaTac City Clerk’s office with the help of a marching band, balloons and celebratory signs.

“Today we celebrate in SeaTac. Filing the initiative shows how the community is coming together in its care and concern for one another. When working families can be paid properly and thrive, our whole community benefits,” said Rev. Jan Bolerjack, pastor of Riverton Park United Methodist Church.


Our news partner, Q13 Fox News is reporting that authorities said a father and son working at a SeaTac car dealership forged title documents that kept the state from collecting excise taxes. Investigators worry this scheme has been going on since 2007.

Read more:

Comment period for airport noise study with smaller contours ends May 30

Due to a reporting error, the amount of money the Port of Seattle has pledged to Highline schools for noise mitigation was wrong in an article on the Port’s noise study that appears in the May 24 print issue.

The Port, operators of Sea-Tac Airport, has pledged $100 million for Highline schools.

That covers seven schools so far--Madrona Elementary, North Hill Elementary, Mount Rainier High, Cedarhurst Elementary, Sunnydale Elementary, Midway Elementary and Parkside Elementary.

Eight more schools are scheduled to get monies as levy upgrade projects are approved. For schools that close, that money goes to the new construction to increase capacity.

Of the dollars, $50 million comes from Federal Aviation Administration grants, while the remaining $50 million comes from the Port.

Also, the Port has provided $6 million to Highline Community College in Des Moines to assist in sound insulating of campus buildings. Twelve of the 22 buildings identified are complete.

The figure for Highline schools has been corrected in the online story below:

May 30 is the deadline for public comments on the Port of Seattle’s airport noise study.

Update 2: Port contributions to schools for noise mitigation detailed
Photo credit: 
Photo by Jerry Gay

A plane on a line to land at Sea-Tac Airport flies near a home.

News release:

Motorists might want to avoid 1st Avenue South between 140th and 146th Streets this week as grinding and asphalt work will be taking place. Traffic could be congested especially during peak travel times (mid-day/lunch hour).

Access to driveways will be limited and may require using the next available access.

Please plan for extra travel time or consider alternative routes to destinations along 1st Avenue South.

The project is nearing completion with the final layer of asphalt coating to be applied within the next few weeks, weather permitting.

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