Additional funding approved for Tacoma Avenue South Bridge rehab

Tacoma City Council approved a purchase resolution Tuesday that directs an additional $400,000 toward design plans necessary to rehabilitate the 81-year-old Tacoma Avenue South Bridge.

According to City of Tacoma staff, the bridge’s beams, sidewalks, guardrails and deck have deteriorated to the point that traffic lanes and the sidewalks have been closed, and signs have been posted announcing reduced truck loads. The bridge serves as a key transportation corridor between downtown Tacoma and the Lincoln International Business District, and allows business activities, commuters, school activities, and emergency vehicles to circulate freely within Tacoma, according to City staff.

In August 2012, councilmembers awarded a $1.2 million contract to Bellevue, Wash.-based TranTech Engineering to complete the bridge design.

“The consultant provided additional services during the design of the project, including adding a new pile supported sidewalk and slope stability analysis that were not anticipated in the original agreement,” wrote Public Works Director Kurtis D. Kingsolver and Engineering Division Manager Chris E. Larson in a memo earlier this month describing the need for additional funding. “Additional funds for this contract are necessary to finalize the bid documents for advertisement and provide consultant services during the construction phase.”

Three years ago, the City accepted a $7.1 million federal grant to help pay for the $11.5 million project.

The Tacoma Avenue South Bridge. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

The Tacoma Avenue South Bridge. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma Avenue South Bridge rehabilitation project, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengerssecond-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State; third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; and third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright. His work has appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at