King Street Station Renovation, Washington, United States of America
King Street Station is one of the largest railway stations located in King County, of which Seattle is the largest city, in the state of Washington, US. The station renovation project began in 2008 and is expected to be completed by spring 2013. The project is sponsored by WSDOT and the City of Seattle.
The station provided service to more than four million passengers in 2010. Since its opening, the station exterior has remained the same, but some of the interiors were altered and some of them also suffered neglect.
City of Seattle purchased the station in 2008 and undertook a project to improve the station facilities and restore the neglected and damaged infrastructure. The restoration is expected to be completed by 2013, with an estimated cost of $50m.
History of King County's largest rail station and renovation
King Street Station was built in May 1906. It was designed by the architectural firm Reed and Stem. It has a three-storey building and a twelve-storey clock tower. The clock tower at the station was built with the inspiration of the San Marco bell tower in Venice, Italy. The ground floor of the station was clad in granite and the walls of the second and third floors and the clock tower were constructed using pressed brick and terra cotta elements.
The purpose of the $50m station renovation project is to improve the public safety and prolong the life of the building by strengthening the building walls and the clock tower. The project also aims to improve the customer experience at the station and to restore the historical features of the station, while creating a modernised train station.
Construction phases constituting King Street Station's restoration
The construction is divided into many phases. The initial phase of construction began in summer 2008 and was completed in July 2009. In this phase of construction, the roof of the station was fully restored by using new terra cotta tiles, the broken tiles on the pyramid above the clock were replaced with salvaged glass, and four clocks were repaired.
The next phase of construction was completed in August 2011. In this phase about 36 geothermic wells reaching to more than 300ft were drilled at the station for installing heating and cooling systems, while electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems were upgraded and a non-functioning escalator was removed to restore the station façade.
The Jackson Street Plaza was transformed into a new public pedestrian plaza, and the drop-ceiling in the main waiting room was removed.
In March 2011, upgrade works on the Amtrak baggage, ticketing and office facilities began. It is expected those works will be completed by May 2012.
The last phase of construction at the station began in March 2012. It is estimated to cost $24m. It includes seismic upgrades, interior and exterior architectural details and completion of mechanical and electrical systems. This phase of construction is expected to be completed by spring 2013.
Services running into the transport hub and passenger facilities
The station is the main transportation hub and gateway into Seattle. It provides services to the trains operating on those rail lines, including along the Amtrak Cascades and Coast Starlight routes.
It provides connections to the Sound Transit commuter rail and light rail services, as well as local and regional buses. It will also provide services for the Seattle's First Hill Streetca when it reopens in 2013.
The passenger facilities at the station include three island platforms, nine tracks, rest rooms and a baggage checking area.
Contractors involved with Seattle's railway station's upgrade works
The station renovation was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects. The $26.5m project management contract for the renovation was awarded to Shiels Obletz Johnsen (SOJ).
Sellen Construction was awarded the general construction contract. The station roof replacement contract was awarded to Biwell Construction. Otak was awarded the contract to provide service as the prime consultant for design and engineering consultation for the rehabilitation of the Compass Room, new restrooms and an expanded passenger waiting lobby.
Financing King Street Station's renovations, in the state of Washington
The total cost of renovating the King Street Station is estimated to be about $50m. It has been funded to the tune of $40m by the federal, state and city governments.
The funding includes WSDOT's contribution of $16.7m under its federal high-speed rail funds. About $10m was provided from the City of Seattle's 'Bridging the Gap' transportation levy. 'Bridging the Gap' is a nine-year, $365m levy, which was passed by Seattle voters in 2006.