In one of the first tangible signs that the Point Defiance Bypass is coming to a close this year, Sounder trains will not serve Tacoma, South Tacoma, or Lakewood from February 17-22. During the 6-day closure, crews will prepare to open the south track of the new Tacoma Trestle. Despite it being a 6-day closure, Sound Transit has minimized rider impact by aligning the closure with with a weekend and a lightly-ridden Presidents Day holiday. Service will resume for the afternoon commute on Wednesday, February 22. So if you’re a Sounder commuter who is fortunate to have Presidents Day off, your total inconvenience will amount to just 2.5 days.
Once service begins on the south track of the new trestle, the historic Milwaukee Road wooden trestle will be demolished and crews will continue work on the second (north) track, and this work will finish in 2018. Amtrak Cascades trains will begin using the new trestle later this fall.
Given the geography of the alignment, stations from Puyallup northward have always enjoyed the best time advantages and the highest ridership. Tacoma, South Tacoma, and Lakewood together accounted for 14% of South Sounder ridership in 2015, less than Puyallup alone (16%). So rider inconvenience should be relatively minimal.
In addition to regularly scheduled Sound Transit 580 buses between Lakewood, South Hill, and Puyallup, Sound Transit will run 4 timed shuttles to connect Lakewood (Green Line), South Tacoma (Orange Line), and Tacoma (Blue Line) to Puyallup, and to connect reverse commuters from Puyallup to Tacoma (Teal Line).