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Rail Crossing Improvement

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About the Project

The City of Tacoma has studied rail crossings in the Dome District, in Old Town, and in the West End.  Issues discussed/reviewed included safety, traffic operations, non-motorized mobility, noise, and economic or other quality of life issues.  These crossings have been identified as locations of concern by local residents, business associations, and property owners.  The rail lines at these locations are managed by BNSF, Sound Transit for commuter rail (AMTRAK and Sounder) and Tacoma Rail Mountain Division.


What Has Been Done and Next Steps


West End (6th Avenue and S. 19th Street) 


open house

Thank you for attending our virtual open house on February 17, 2021.  If you were unable to attend, click here to view a recording of the open house.  The ‘Question and Answer’ portion of the open house will be posted soon.  If you have any questions on the project, contact Project Manager Mark D'Andrea at mdandrea@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5518.

Scope and Schedule: Pedestrian rail crossing improvements are planned at both the 6th Avenue and S. 19th Street rail crossings.  Select improvements include upgraded railroad signals, relocated vehicle railroad gates, the installation of new pedestrian railroad gates, sidewalks, curb ramps, pavement replacement, pavement markings/crosswalks, landscaping, signs and fencing.  Design, permitting and right-of-way activities are complete and the project has been advertised and awarded to a local contractor.  The City and BNSF will each be responsible for completing work in their respective rights-of-way (City to complete all sidewalks, paving, signage, etc.; BNSF will complete all rail gate/signal work).  


Project Updates

  •  4/28/22 – BNSF has started subsurface work at the S. 19th Street crossing, this will be followed by subsurface work at the 6th Avenue crossing.  Concrete crossing panels at both the S. 19th Street and the 6th Avenue crossings will be replaced next.  Once these are in place, the City’s Contractor will begin their work.  BNSF’s start date for the crossing panel replacement work is not yet known.  
  • 2/16/22 – Schedule Update: All documents between the City, the City’s Contractor and BNSF are now in place.  An onsite meeting was held the week of 11/1 to review the project and determine phasing.  BNSF is expected to begin work in March, the City’s Contractor will follow later in March/April depending on BNSF’s progress. 

Tentative Project Schedule for West End (6th Avenue and S. 19th Street)

  • October 2020: City advertises work at 6th Avenue and S. 19th Street for construction
  • April 2022: BNSF begins work onsite. BNSF's duration to be determined pending submittal of schedule.
  • June 2022: City's Contractor begins work onsite. Duration is expected to be approximately three months, pending weather delays.

McCarver Crossing
All crossing improvements have been installed. This includes new sidewalks, fencing, signs, pavement markings, upgraded rail signals, and the installation of two new pedestrian gates/signals on the east side of the crossing.
Dome District
In preparation for Quite Zone implementation, an onsite Diagnostic Meeting was held with representatives from Sound Transit, the Federal Railroad Administration and all other rail entities using the E. C Street and E. D Street crossings.  Draft layouts have been assembled for each crossing, and contracting, design and construction discussions have been ongoing with Sound Transit.  Further work at these two crossings is on hold due to COVID-19 related budget impacts.

Final Rail Crossing Report

The final report addressing these rail crossings were completed in October 2018. 

Rail Crossing Evaluation Report, October 2018 Rail Crossing Evaluation Report Appendices


Rail Crossings Map

This map shows the general location of the crossings analyzed.  


West End (6th Avenue and S. 19th Street)

Project Funding


Funding Source
City of Tacoma     $70,000
Federal Highway Safety and Improvement Grant        $1,106,750
 State Funds     $1,150,000


Dome District (E. C and E. D St. Crossings)

As of June 2020, this project is currently on hold.


Contact Information

If you have questions or comments you can contact City of Tacoma Project Manager, Mark D'Andrea, at (253) 591-5518 or by email.