Local businesses hurting as Tacoma Link extension construction drags on

Aug 1, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 8:41 am

(Photo courtesy of Tacoma Light Rail/Flickr)...

(Photo courtesy of Tacoma Light Rail/Flickr)

(Photo courtesy of Tacoma Light Rail/Flickr)

Construction work began on the Tacoma Link service Sunday, July 31, with the light rail closing until 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16 in order to open its 2.4-mile extension next year, disrupting local businesses in the process.

“I was told lies across the board. We were told this was a worthwhile project. It’s not,” Steven Salamone, owner of Salamone’s Pizza, said on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “We were told that they would keep the closures to a minimum. That they would run through it as quickly as possible. This is an absolute miscarriage of justice.”

The extension is set to have six new stations as free bus shuttles will replace Tacoma Link service for a few weeks this summer while crews connect the existing line with the Hilltop extension.

“They broke ground in front of my shop in summer of 2019. Fast forward three years, they’re still closing roads here all around my shop,” Salamone said. “They still got construction materials and construction vehicles strewn about alongside road signs, closures. They’re still digging up parts of the rail that they already installed, and then just chip it all out. And, you know, I can’t even imagine what the carbon footprint of this project is.”

Salamone stated a dip in sales occurs immediately with each closure or construction project that his business has to work around.

“The more trouble people have coming to patronize your business, the less people are going to come,” Salamone said.

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Local businesses hurting as Tacoma Link extension construction drags on