Construction begins on Point Ruston public infrastructure, pedestrian esplanade

Construction is currently under way on a public infrastructure and pedestrian esplanade project at Point Ruston.

Last month, the City of Tacoma and Point Ruston formed a partnership to sell $28.7 million in Local Improvement District bonds to finance the project, which includes a 4,800-foot stretch of public esplanade at the waterfront edge of the Point Ruston development, the replacement of the derelict water, power, sewer, and road infrastructure that presently exist in this area, and a permanent Ruston Way re-alignment past the contaminated Ruston Tunnel, which was originally built in 1912 to allow vehicular access under the former Asarco Smelter.

The partnership also provides for the construction of the “Waterwalk,” a waterfront public esplanade nearly one-mile long, averaging 100 feet wide, and almost eight acres in area. The Waterwalk will establish a permanent public pedestrian link between the Ruston Way bayside trail and Tacoma Metropolitan Park Districts’ Peninsula Park property, which will allow direct pedestrian and bicycle waterfront access to Pt. Defiance Park. Public amenities along the Waterwalk will include public seating, lighting, sand running paths and decorative hardscapes, a shoreline rain garden with native plantings, and various public art installations and fountains.

Upon completion of the Waterwalk construction, Point Ruston has agreed to sell the City of Tacoma the improved eight-acre waterfront property with the newly constructed public amenities for $6 million. Construction of the infrastructure and Waterwalk projects will continue through the summer and into next year, with the Waterwalk being the last phase to be completed no later than winter 2012.

The first phase of occupancy at Point Ruston is anticipated in summer 2012.

For more information, visit .

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Ruston Way Tunnel closure looms (06/28/11) —

Tacoma City Council, developer debate merits of Point Ruston proposals (03/11/11) —

Point Ruston: Tacoma City Council discusses $6M waterfront purchase, $3M LID amendment (03/08/11) —

Point Ruston waterfront for sale? Tacoma says it’s interested (03/04/11) —