Cantwell Celebrates Grand Opening of Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension Line

New transit line connects Downtown, Dome, Stadium, & Hilltop with fast & reliable service; Cantwell delivers remarks at grand opening: “Tacoma & the Hilltop neighborhood is on the rise”

TACOMA, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D, WA-10), Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, and other local officials for the grand opening of Tacoma’s Hilltop Link Extension Line. The extension adds 2.4 miles of track and seven new stations to the T-Line, connecting the existing line through the Dome District and Downtown to popular destinations such as the Stadium District, Wright Park, Tacoma’s major medical centers, and the Hilltop Business District.

“Tacoma and the Hilltop neighborhood is on the rise,”  Sen. Cantwell said. “This is life-changing to an area where 27% of households don't own a car. If you are a student at Stadium High, or SOTA, or Evergreen, now you have another way to get to school. If you have an appointment at Tacoma General or St. Joe's, you also have an easier way to get there. If you want to take your family to the stadium district, or down to Wright Park, or just have dinner in Hilltop or downtown -- you now can take the T-line.”

Sen. Cantwell helped secure $183.3 million in federal funding for the project, including $93.3 million in loans from the Department of Transportation (DOT) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, and $75 million from the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program. Federal funding covered over 64% of the total project cost.

“We are always fighting to make investments, because these investments connect communities. And you are the best example in America of how well that is working out for us,” Sen. Cantwell said.

The Hilltop Link Extension more than doubles the length of the T-Line to a total of four miles and 12 stations, and includes the purchase of five new light rail vehicles.

The Extension provides access to Tacoma’s “Medical Mile,” which includes major hospitals like MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and five educational facilities serving nearly 17,000 students.

This new extension will also provide new connectivity for Tacoma residents to the Hilltop and Downtown Business Districts, Evergreen College Tacoma, Stadium High School, and vital cultural centers.

In the Stadium and Hilltop Districts, 27% of households are without access to a vehicle.

During construction, the project employed 1,862 workers, including 461 workers of color and 106 women, totaling $46 million in wages alone. 247 of these workers live in Tacoma.              

Video of Sen. Cantwell’s remarks is HERE and audio is HERE. Photos are available HERE. A transcript of Sen. Cantwell’s remarks is HERE.