City restricts Old Town Dock access

The City’s Public Works Department recently conducted a visual inspection of the Old Town Dock, located along Ruston Way, and is recommending that it be closed to public access and its use limited to special events and emergency police, Coast Guard and fire operations only beginning today. Among the structural concerns with the dock, the decking is deteriorating and the structure lacks a handrail, which makes it unsafe for pedestrian use.

When the dock was constructed in 1873, its intended use was as a wharf. Today, it is typically used by the public and in emergency situations by the police and fire departments. Since the role of the dock has changed, inspectors have recommended closing it to the general public until improvements can be made to return the dock to its current use as a public access pier.

The dock is in the City’s 2008-2013 Capital Facilities Plan and has been assigned a project manager. Currently, the project has not started and remains largely unfunded. Old Town Dock is owned by the City of Tacoma and maintained by Metro Parks Tacoma.