Groundbreaking ceremony, open house for Sprague Avenue project

Tacoma city officials will mark the beginning of construction of the South Sprague Avenue enhancement project with a groundbreaking ceremony and open house next week.

The project will provide landscape improvements and enhanced visual buffers from South Sprague Avenue and the adjacent residential street to the east, known as residential Sprague or “Little Sprague,” according to City staff. Just over half an acre of arterial roadway stormwater runoff will be treated with bio-retention rain gardens, and nearly half an acre will be enhanced with landscaping that will improve the city’s tree canopy and reduce rainwater runoff in the Foss watershed. A new median will be constructed in South Sprague Avenue to provide traffic calming for a new neighborhood gateway wing also included in this project.

Earlier this month, Tacoma City Council awarded a $548,429.25 contract to Westwater Construction Company to complete the first phase of the project.

The second phase of the project, which is tentatively schedule to begin next fall, is currently in the preliminary design phase. That phase of the project will include the installation of landscape plantings west side of South Sprague Avenue from South 23rd to 19th Streets, and the installation of pervious pavement, a defined parking lane (east side) and swales to improve drainage (west side) to the residential stretch of Sprague Avenue between South 25th and 19th Streets.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Mon., Dec. 3 at 9:30 a.m. on residential South Sprague at the end of South 23rd Street. The open house will be held at 6 p.m. on the same day at People’s Community Center, located at 1602 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. It will provide an opportunity for the neighbors on residential South Sprague to meet the City’s construction team. An overview of the project and the construction schedule will be provided as well as a question and answer session.

The South Sprague Avenue Enhancement Project will include landscape improvements, rain gardens, and a new median to provide traffic calming for a new neighborhood gateway wing. (IMAGE COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)