Pierce County prepares to replace key Frederickson area bridge

Pierce County officials announced Thursday that beginning Weds., June 22, the Tacoma Rail Overcrossing, also known as the 176th Street East Bridge, will be closed so the county can replace it with a five-lane concrete bridge that will include pedestrian sidewalks. The closure is expected to be in effect until early November, subject to weather conditions and unexpected delays. It will also include a portion of 176th Street East from 38th Avenue East to Canyon Road East.

Travelers should use detour routes on 192nd Street East or 200th Street East, or plan an alternate route. Drivers should be prepared for delays and allow extra time to reach their destinations.

“By closing the bridge for four months, we save taxpayers up to $1 million in construction because we don’t need to build a temporary structure to keep traffic open in both directions,” said project engineering manager Ramiro Chavez of Pierce County Public Works and Utilities. “It also allows the work to be finished sooner, meaning less traffic impacts overall.”

The bridge closure is part of the three-year facelift 176th Street East is undergoing to make room for travel growth in the area. When the project is done, 176th Street East (from Waller Road East to 51st Street East and from Canyon Road East to Gem Heights Drive East) will have five lanes, new sidewalks, street lights, and traffic signals. The projects were financed with property taxes, real estate excise taxes, grants from the state, and municipal bonds. The work on these portions of 176th Street East are anticipated to be completed in late fall 2012.

For more information on all of the 176th Street East improvements, visit piercecountywa.org/fredericksonarea.