Milestone reached in massive Stadium Way improvement project

Stadium Way improvement project work along North ‘E’ and North 1st streets near Stadium High School is nearly complete and the roadway will open this week on schedule and in time for the start of the 2012 school year, City of Tacoma officials announced Tuesday. Miscellaneous final touches such as landscaping, ornamental lighting and other improvements will be installed based on the season, or as the materials become available.

“We are thrilled that we were able to upgrade all the utilities and construct the road and sidewalks in this area before school starts,” said project manager Mark D’Andrea. “Construction can sometimes be difficult with weather and unforeseen obstacles, but we’ve had great weather and the team effort on this project has been outstanding.”

When the project is completed next year, it will be long overdue.

According to city staff, the Stadium Way road surface is undergoing substantial settlement due to the historic use of non-engineered fill along its alignment. The project will stabilize the subsurface to prevent future settlement, and will reconstruct the roadway surface and improve the streetscape to accommodate multi-modal uses. The completed project will offer innovative storm water management, dedicated bicycle lanes, improved lighting, traffic control, pedestrian access, landscaping, and other public amenities.

The city has collected approximately $13.3 million for the project: $8.3 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grants; a $1.2 million State Transportation Improvement Board grant; and $3.8 million in city funding. The project stretches from South 9th Street and Commerce Street through the intersection of Division Avenue and North E Street, and ends at the intersection of North 1st Street and Tacoma Avenue.

The finished project is expected to offer a variety of sustainable features, including a rain garden to pretreat runoff prior to entering the receiving waters; new intersections constructed of concrete instead of asphalt in order to minimize long-term maintenance and a reliance on crude oil; an emphasis on non-motorized travel through the incorporation of bike lanes and designated pedestrian routes and amenities; pedestrian activated flashing beacons will be solar powered; low-power-consumption LED lights will be used in the new traffic signal at South 4th Street and in the crossing signals; existing ornamental street lights will be re-used; and more trees will be planted than will be removed.

The city will host an open house for the project on Weds., Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. in Tacoma City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. Additional project information is available here.