By: dgardner

Wapato Creek work is out to bid

Tacoma Weekly
July 8, 2014
By Steve Dunkelberger

Flood control mitigation work on Wapato Creek linked to improvements on Port of Tacoma Road is out for bid on two fronts.

The City of Fife is seeking contractors for up to $3.5 million in wetland improvements along the 6500 block of Valley Avenue for what could eventually be a new park near Brookville Gardens, while Port of Tacoma has a $10 million list of work about a mile away to control flooding of the tideflats.

The Fife-funded work includes the construction of wetlands and relocation of a portion of Wapato Creek, construction of road and pond embankment, plantings with a plant establishment requirement, construction of a detention basin under a landscaping design BCRA Design crafted more than a year ago.

This new Brookville Garden Park will be a passive nature area in Fife that could eventually have an educational hatchery that would provide information about the life cycle of salmon in the river. But that would come years from now since the current project will take about two years and there is no funding to pay for the $250,000 hatchery even if it was added to the site. Land for it, however, is being set aside if the idea moves forward.

“It’s still conceivable,” Public Works Director Russ Blount said. “We continue to keep it going.”

Late council member Richard Godwin championed the idea before his death last year.

As the plan for the 15-acre site outlines now, the park will have rolling knolls created from fill dirt being trucked in from other sites and natural plants to control water demand and maintenance. Some playground equipment will be included in the park but the land will mostly focus on passive use such as walking and picnicking rather than more active uses.

The Port work will involve two projects totaling more than $19 million to restore the creek habitat and prepare a port-owned parcel east of Alexander Avenue and north of East 12th Street for future development. The site had been used to store soil dredged up from the waterway

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