By: dgardner

Tacoma completes part of new downtown trail; more is coming

Daily Journal of Commerce
September 25, 2014
By Journal Staff

The mile-long Prairie Line Trail in Tacoma is taking shape.

When completed, the bicycle and pedestrian trail will run between South 26th and Dock streets, following the original path of the Northern Pacific Railway through downtown Tacoma.
The University of Washington Tacoma will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 5-6:30 p.m. today at the Grand Staircase at 1900 Commerce St. for initial segment, called Prairie Line Trail at UWT Station.

The four-block segment runs through campus between South 21st and South 17th streets.

The ribbon cutting will be followed by a panel discussion about Tacoma trails at 7 p.m. at UWT's Carwein Auditorium. More information about the event is available at

The initial trail segment was designed by Place Studio and built by John Korsmo Construction under a $2.6 million contract.

The city of Tacoma is responsible for the next two segments, one running north of the UWT campus and the other running south.

Construction on the north end is scheduled to begin next spring. No general contractor has been selected.

The city's budget for the project is $1.75 million.

The 1/3-mile trail will run from South 17th Street near the Tacoma Art Museum to Dock Street, along the Thea Foss Waterway.

BCRA is the landscape architect. The firm is also responsible for civil engineering and graphic design.

Other team members include Exeltech, the structural engineer, and GeoEngineers, which is performing geotechnical work.

Alan McWain, project manager for BCRA, said he considers the trail a linear park. It will have environmental graphic and wayfinding elements, along with interpretive elements that help tell the history of Tacoma.

McWain said he wants to avoid plaques, opting instead for bigger gestures.

The trail will accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians, and include seating areas.

One budget challenge will be construction of a retaining wall on Hood Street as part of an effort to regrade a slope.

“There is only so much room to mitigate a change of elevation,” McWain said.

Contaminated soils will also have to be removed as part of the project.

The north trail segment is scheduled to open by early next fall.


View original article via the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

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