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BNSF Access Study Project  

Project Overview

The City of Tukwila is partnering with BNSF Railway to study alternative access routes to their intermodal yard in Allentown.

  • Trucks currently access the facility via 42nd Avenue S and S 124th Street through the Allentown neighborhood.
  • The City is building upon previous studies by examining the feasibility of the previously-identified existing route options, evaluating them given current conditions and broad screening criteria.
  • This study is essential in helping the City seek future funding for design and construction from State and Federal sources.

By partnering with BNSF, the City is building on these past studies and is now focusing on the financial and technical feasibility of the alternatives. The exploration of these alternatives is still in the early stages. The City will ensure its findings and any actions are communicated clearly to the community.


Current Status

The City and BNSF are currently working on two aspects of the project: setting screening criteria and analyzing the technical data in order to effectively compare the alternative routes. After the technical work is complete, the City will draft a report for City Council, as outlined in the Project Schedule section below


BNSF Facility Background

The BNSF facility in Tukwila became fully operational in 1970. The intermodal facility manages containerized cargo transferred from truck to rail or from rail to truck. Handling mostly domestic cargo destined for distribution centers or stores in the Puget Sound region, this facility, in connection with BNSF’s nationwide rail network, helps support the region’s economic trade vitality.


Tukwila BNSF Intermodal Facility Access Alternatives

 (Click to enlarge map)

S 124th Street
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.


Related Documents


Project Schedule

Summer 2015

  • Engage and inform the public
  • Develop a selection criteria for access study alternatives
  • Brief the City Council and public on process progress

Fall 2015

  • Finalize draft access study report
  • Present draft report to and receive input from the City Council
  • Finalize report

Early 2016

  • City council to provide recommendation on next steps

Moving Forward

  • Depending on the recommendations of the alternative access study, further project phases may include:
    • Environmental studies
    • Identify funding sources
    • Design
    • Construction

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:


Want more information?

Questions? Interested in learning more? Email us at AccessStudy@Tukwilawa.gov or call 206-431-2446.


Contact Information:

Tukwila City Hall
6200 Southcenter Blvd.
Tukwila, WA 98188-2544

Phone: 206 433-1800
Fax: 206 433-1833
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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