By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
Kobayashi Park is one of those unexpected surprises. It’s a tiny entry point just a few yards from a busy suburban thoroughfare.
It’s just a few steps off Bridgeport, but you’d never know it based on the world around you as you step into the lush, green intersection of waterways of the park.
Several creeks meet there as they make their meandering way down to Chambers Bay.
The Chambers Creek Canyon Trail will someday connect all the way to Chambers Bay, and will soon connect, by walking trail, Lakewood and University Place.
Pierce County has an abundance of parks for all interests, ages and skill levels.
From Buckley to Lakewood, and from Spanaway to the Carbon River, wilderness and a variety of activities and resources are available for individuals, groups and teams.
From streams and lakes to ball fields, you can find it all.
There are a variety of projects and improvements in play across the county right now.
Not every area has the variety of parks that we have. Be sure to get out and enjoy them.
Here’s an update from Pierce County on a park you may have driven by a hundred times.
As with all of our local parks, it might be time to take a closer look.
Work begins for Chambers Creek Canyon Trail project
Work on a new bridge that will be installed as part of the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail project began July 26. The work is expected to be complete in mid-October.
The first phase of the work will result in a new bridge crossing connecting the City of Lakewood to University Place near Kobayashi Park. The bridge will provide a safe crossing point for trail users and prevent wading through the creek which causes environmental damage.
Work in the first bridge phase will include installation of a prefabricated bridge, bridge abutments, trail approaches and changes to reuse the existing roadbed on the south side of the stream. This is one of the first steps towards a vision of connecting a trail the length of the canyon.
The Chambers Creek Canyon Trail will be closed in the work area during construction hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. A gravel bypass trail will be installed around the construction area. This bypass will be open outside of work hours and on weekends. There may be additional trail closure areas and times in some sections during various stages of construction.
There will be on-site signage and coordination with the local jurisdictions to ensure safety and up-to-date information for trail users.
Preparation work started July 26, with an archeologist monitoring all excavation work and assessing the site to determine if there are any culturally relevant items for protection. Upcoming work includes clearing vegetation, installing erosion control devices and posting project signage.
Work continues in August as crews excavate the site in preparation to install the bridge foundations. The bridge and railings are expected to be installed in September.
Chambers Creek Canyon is a part of Chambers Creek Regional Park, which is jointly owned by Pierce County and the City of University Place.
In 2013, the cities of University Place and Lakewood, along with Pierce County, held a public open house to gauge interest in creating a trail through the canyon. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so a draft trail implementation plan was created.
In 2015, an interlocal agreement was adopted to guide the planning, design and permitting work on this project and to provide for collaboration in seeking grants and other funding sources. In 2016, preliminary engineering work was completed, and cost estimates were established. Multiple grants are funding current efforts to complete the trail, bridge and boardwalk designs and implementation with construction.
For more information on the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail Project, including a map showing where bridge work will occur, visit the Pierce County Parks Chambers Creek Canyon Trail Project website – https://www.piercecountywa.gov/6673/Chambers-Creek-Canyon-Trail. Sign up for email updates about this project here: https://www.piercecountywa.gov/list.aspx?ListID=591
– Source: Pierce County