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Point Defiance Bypass

Project Information
Surface Transportation
The Project would re-route passenger trains from the Point Defiance BNSF rail line that runs along the southern Puget Sound shoreline to an existing rail corridor (the proposed Project corridor) that runs along the west side of Interstate 5 (I-5) between Tacoma and Nisqually. The existing alignment (BNSF line), shared by freight and passenger rail traffic, is near capacity and is operationally constrained by the shoreline geography has physical and operational constraints. Outreach efforts to local communities have been extensive and many are part of the Projects Technical Advisory Group. The Project is a key in providing more competitive intercity passenger rail service between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR, including: Increasing Amtrak Cascades round-trips from four to six by 2017 in order to meet projected service demands; reducing scheduling conflicts with freight trains that often result in delays, and by mitigating or avoiding operational delays (e.g., drawbridge openings) and weather-related delays (e.g., mudslides), and improving on-time performance from 68 percent to 88 percent; decreasing passenger train trip times by at least 10 minutes, and reducing conflicts with freight trains; and upgrading at-grade crossings safety with wayside horns, median barriers, advanced warning signals, and traffic signal improvement.

Reviews, Approvals and Permits

Title Responsible Agency Responsible Agency POC Target Completion Date Status
FONSI Colleen Vaughn 2/14/2013 Complete
Public and agency review of EA DOT Colleen Vaughn 10/25/2012 Complete
Environmental Assessment Colleen Vaughn 9/30/2012 Complete