Murray Morgan Bridge elevator, staircase discussion continues

Could the $57 million renovation of the 98-year-old Murray Morgan Bridge include a new elevator and staircase connecting Dock Street to 11th Street?

That question will be explored next week at City Hall.

Last month, the Tacoma Daily Index was first to report the City of Tacoma was considering the plan (see “Murray Morgan Bridge rehabilitation could include new elevator,” TDI, 10/14/11).

“Starting next week, Public Works will begin meeting with the Foss Waterway Development Authority, adjacent property owners, and City departments to develop design criteria for the new stairs and elevator and to discuss important elements such as ADA accessibility, safety and public art,” wrote interim City Manager Rey Arellano in his Oct. 13 weekly report to Tacoma City Council. “Once design is far enough along, staff will present potential designs to the Environment and Public Works Committee. By starting the preliminary design now, work on the stairs and elevator will be performed concurrently with the bridge rehabilitation and will be completed in time for the bridge opening at the end of 2012. The preliminary design will be performed using the contingency in our design-build contract with PCL Construction Services, Inc. By December a contract amendment for final design, procurement and construction will be brought to the Council for consideration.”

Now, Tacoma City Council’s environment and public works committee and economic development committee are scheduled to discuss the idea during a meeting on Weds., Nov. 9 at 4:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market Street, Conference Room 16. For a copy of the agenda, click here.

Earlier this year, Tacoma City Council awarded a contract to PCL Construction Services to rehabilitate the bridge by completing structural repairs, painting the bridge black, replacing the deck, and repairing or replacing the mechanical and electrical systems. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles Oct. 23, 2007, due to safety concerns that arose after weeks of inspections by Washington State Department of Transportation engineers. In 2008, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation included the bridge on its annual list of Most Endangered Properties. Also in 2008, the bridge was included on Historic Tacoma’s “Watch List” of endangered historic sites.

Tacoma's Murray Morgan Bridge. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)