City seeks WSDOT loans to complete Tacoma Rail projects

Two loans from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) could help Tacoma Rail complete two infrastructure projects on the...

Tacoma Rail could receive a loan from the Washington State Department of Transportation to improve a grade crossing near South 11th Street and Milwaukee Avenue. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

Two loans from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) could help Tacoma Rail complete two infrastructure projects on the tide flats.

The first agreement calls for a 10-year, interest-free loan from WSDOT in the amount of $354,542, according to documents prepared by City staff. The agreement also requires Tacoma Rail to contribute $88,633. The money would be used to remove the deteriorated asphalt grade crossings installed at East 11th Street near Milwaukee Way and replace them with new 115-pound rails and a concrete panel crossing system. When completed next June, the new infrastructure would better serve an area expected to see a spike in heavy truck traffic as the Port of Tacoma’s new Washington United Terminals comes on line.

The second agreement calls for a 10-year, interest-free loan from WSDOT in the amount of $363,938, according to documents prepared by City staff. The agreement also requires Tacoma Rail to contribute $90,985. The money would be used to remove 85-pound rails manufactured between 1906 and 1908 and replace them with new 115-pound rails in order to safely accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars and allow Tacoma Rail to better serve Port of Tacoma area freight rail customers. The project is expected to be completed next June.

The Washington State Transportation Commission was briefed on the proposals in February.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on two resolutions authorizing the loans during its meeting on Tues., July 31 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, located 747 Market Street. A draft version of the meeting materials is available online here . Meetings are streamed live online here and broadcast live on TV Tacoma.

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