Celebrate downtown Tacoma’s revamped Pac Ave

The City of Tacoma, Business Improvement Area and Downtown Merchants Group are inviting residents, drivers, business staff and all others to celebrate the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project’s substantial completion at “Pac the Ave” this weekend.

The event is designed to kick-off the holiday season by introducing residents to the transformed Pacific Avenue with all its new public improvements and businesses. The 10-block project included sidewalks, curbs and curb ramps, landscaping, public art, historic streetlights, roadway repaving, overhead catenary lights and 14 rain gardens which treat stormwater prior to entering Thea Foss Waterway. A few final project elements, such as road striping, installation of bike racks and benches, and a few remaining sidewalk public art pieces will be competed in January, after the holiday season is over.

“This project has been a very big deal for our community,” said Tacoma Public Works Director Kurtis Kingsolver. “We’re thrilled it’s done. We’re thrilled it creates such an inviting environment.”

On Sat., Dec. 7, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Pacific Avenue will come alive at the new South 8th Street cobble-style intersection under the new crisscross overhead lights between South 7th Street and South 9th Street with free live music, arts performances, hot chocolate, kettle corn and activities. The project’s “green flash” theme will carry into the event with green candy canes and costumes. Even two of downtown Tacoma’s historic stars have been re-strung with green lights in a nod to the project. Visitors are encouraged to bring a donation of unwrapped toys, blankets and towels to benefit Tacoma Rescue Mission for a free picture with Santa Claus. Visitors can also participate in a historic walk at 4 p.m. with Downtown On The Go. A Pac Ave Passport, available at the event and at participating businesses afterwards, will foster visits to area businesses for the chance to win prizes. That contest continues until Tues., Dec. 31.

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UPDATE: On Thurs., Dec. 5, Tacoma Daily Index editor Todd Matthews walked the length of the project and photographed some of the new features downtown visitors will encounter.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project, click on the following links: