Public Works Administration
6300 Southcenter Blvd.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone: 206 433-0179
Fax: 206 431-3665
Allentown Truck Reroute Project
Project Status Update
For the City to determine a preferred alternative to reroute the existing truck traffic, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be conducted. The EIS will include robust community outreach and opportunities to engage for all interested parties on potential alternatives for freight traffic. Council approved moving forward with the EIS at the June 14, 2021, Committee of the Whole Meeting.
As of July 2021, the City is looking to hire a project manager to oversee the EIS to determine an alternative access route for existing truck traffic. The City will also hold monthly meetings with the Allentown community to provide updates on the EIS and hear firsthand about questions and concerns.
|3rd Quarter of 2022||Hire consultant team for EIS. Begin work on EIS: Public input and analysis of existing conditions.|
|3rd Quarter 2022||Continue existing conditions analysis, begin work on proposed project alternatives.|
|4th Quarter 2023||Complete the EIS and report to Council and the Allentown Community|
Allentown Community Meetings
Meetings will be held on the 4th Tuesday of every month from 5:30-6:30pm at the Tukwila Community Center.
- Allentown Community Meeting Agenda & EIS Overview – 02-22-2022
- 42nd Ave S Bridge Replacement TSL Presentation – 02-22-2022 (Also presented at 2-14-2022 Council Meeting)
- 42nd Avenue South Bridge Type, Size and Location Report – 02-22-2022
- BNSF’s South Seattle Intermodal Facility is located on the east side of the Allentown neighborhood. For many years, trucks traveling to and from the BNSF facility have accessed it mainly via a route that uses 42nd Ave. S (over the 42nd Ave. S Bridge) and S 124th Street.
- In 2015, the City undertook a study to find a new truck route that would reduce the impacts of trucks in Allentown. The BNSF Railway Intermodal Facility Access Study was completed in late 2016.
- The study proposed four alternative truck routes that would not travel through Allentown, and one alternative that considered the impacts of leaving the current truck route in place.
- As part of the study, the City held open houses where the public gave input about the needs of the Allentown community and commented on the proposed truck route alternatives.
- Using the 2016 study as a starting point, the City will now prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) which will take a more in-depth look at the truck route options identified in the 2015 study, and update the study’s findings to include today’s conditions, improved project understanding, and additional community input.
- Moving forward with work on the EIS, the City is committed to clear and open communication with the public – of its findings, its intentions, and it actions.
The following four alternatives were considered (along with an option that maintained current conditions) as part of the 2016 BNSF Railway Intermodal Facility Access Study:
42nd Ave S Bridge/S. 124th St. (Status Quo)
This is the current route most trucks and vehicles use to access the facility. This will be considered the no-build or baseline alternative.
Gateway Drive – North Leg
This proposal would connect with the existing gate through the north leg of Gateway Drive, a new roadway between the Boeing Employee Credit Union and ITT Technical Institute building, and a new bridge over the Duwamish River.
48th Avenue S
This alternative accesses the facility at the south end via the existing 48th Avenue S roadway and a new bridge over the Green River Trail and Duwamish River.
S 112th Street
This alternative accesses the facility at the northern half via a new roadway along the existing Seattle Public Utility and Seattle City Lights utilities corridor.
Airport Way S
This alternative accesses the facility at the north end via an existing railroad access road that goes under Boeing Access Road and Sound Transit Link Light rail line.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does the City of Tukwila have a preferred alternative access option to reroute freight traffic?
The City has no preferred option for alternative access to BNSF’s facility. An EIS must be conducted for the City to determine a preferred alternative to reroute the existing truck traffic. The EIS will include robust community outreach and opportunities to engage for all interested parties on potential alternatives for freight traffic.
Does replacing the 42nd Ave S Bridge impact community efforts to reroute freight traffic from S 124th St?
No. The work to replace the 42nd Ave S Bridge is a public safety project and has zero effect on the larger community effort to reroute freight traffic off of S 124th St. The City of Tukwila is committed to collaborating with the Allentown community regarding freight traffic through the neighborhood and that collaboration is an entirely separate effort from the 42nd Ave S Bridge replacement. Further, the City Council has directed staff to engage in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process – a necessary step to determine a preferred alternative– to further evaluate alternatives for freight traffic on this route. The EIS process will have significant opportunities for community input.
How is the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being funded?
City funds will cover the cost of the EIS.
The US Congress is considering spending trillions of dollars on infrastructure – has the City of Tukwila applied for those funds to reroute freight traffic?
The City has not applied for infrastructure funding to reroute traffic. The City must complete the EIS process in order to determine a preferred alternative and then begin design work before any such project would be a candidate for funding.
What is the role of BNSF in this process?
We anticipate that BNSF will be an engaged stakeholder in this process, and we are including them when we share information, where appropriate, including invitations to public meetings. As with the larger Allentown community, BNSF is an important stakeholder going forward regarding any conversations about rerouting freight traffic.
How can residents be involved in this process?
The City will continue to hold regular meetings with the Allentown community, and residents are encouraged to attend for updates and to ask questions, voice concerns, and suggest future actions. The truck reroute EIS process also includes opportunities for public comment, both at the project start and as part of review of the draft EIS. The City website will be updated to show upcoming public meetings and other opportunities give input.
Have you thought about developing a citizen task force about this issue?
The City has been working with the Allentown Advocates and will continue to work with them throughout the duration of these projects.
Documents from 2016 EIS
- Open House Summary – March 29, 2016
- BNSF Access Screening Matrix
- BNSF Access Study Project Update – August 10, 2015
- BNSF Access Study Project Fact Sheet – July 2015
- SEPA checklist
Other Past Studies
Previous studies examined four alternative access routes in addition to a “no-action alternative” (maintaining the existing route). The following documents outline the previous studies’ results and processes:
- March 10, 1998 HLA Study Report Presentation to Transportation Committee (File BNSF HLA 3.10.98)
- September 25, 2000 Council Presentation Packet (File 9.25.2000)
Questions? Interested in learning more? Please contact Mark Hafs at 206-431-3685 or Mark.Hafs@TukwilaWA.gov.