Design work could begin soon on Tacoma Avenue South Bridge rehab

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote next week on whether to direct approximately $1.2 million toward design services necessary to rehabilitate the Tacoma Avenue South Bridge.

According to city staff, the bridge’s beams, sidewalks, guardrails and deck have deteriorated to the point that two of the four traffic lanes and the sidewalks are closed and signs have been posted announcing reduced truck loads. The bridge serves as a vital transportation corridor between downtown Tacoma and the Lincoln International Business District. It also serves as one of the few crossings over Interstate 5. Keeping this bridge open and operating at full capacity provides a transportation corridor for businesses, commuters, schools, and emergency vehicles to circulate freely within Tacoma, according to city staff.

Last year, the city accepted a $7.1 million federal grant to help pay for the project.

If a purchase resolution is approved by councilmembers, a contract will be awarded to Bellevue-based TranTech Engineering to complete the bridge design. Once the design team investigates the bridge deficiencies and is able to propose options for rehabilitating the bridge, city staff will meet with the neighborhood and business districts to inform them about the project and receive input regarding the new design. The bridge design is expected to be completed in July.

The overall project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Councilmembers are scheduled to vote on the purchase resolution during its meeting on Tues., Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, located 747 Market Street. The agenda and meeting materials are available online here. Meetings are streamed live online here and broadcast live on TV Tacoma.