Port awards $2M contract to restore 23-acre habitat

Port of Tacoma Commissioners today approved a $2 million contract, the final step to enhancing and restoring a premier $12 million habitat site near Hylebos Creek. Plans for the 23-acre site on Marine View Drive include excavating contaminated and unsuitable soils and creating freshwater and intertidal marsh, forested upland and riparian habitat.

The Port bought the former Parsons property in 2005 for future habitat mitigation and restoration. Its tidally influenced location at the mouth of the salmon-bearing Hylebos Creek makes it especially valuable as restored habitat. It also sits next to habitat sites restored by other organizations, providing broader environmental benefit by connecting several restored areas along the creek.

Plans for the Port property are divided into five separate projects to fulfill current or future habitat restoration requirements. Designs for the projects, however, took into account the whole parcel to provide the most valuable environmental benefit. When the restorations are complete, the property will provide about 23 acres of freshwater and intertidal marsh, forested upland and riparian habitat along Hylebos Creek. It will provide resting and feeding areas for young salmon before they head out to Puget Sound, as well as a home to native plants, water birds and other wildlife.

The site’s complete design, restoration and ongoing monitoring is expected to cost about $12 million.

This contract includes removing contaminated and unsuitable soils, filling and grading a former gravel mine, demolishing structures from a former concrete recycling facility, creating suitable habitat and planting native vegetation to meet local, state, tribal and federal requirements. The Port received nine bids, ranging from a high of $3.5 million to a low of $2 million, submitted by Tucci and Sons, of Tacoma.

Work is expected to begin in early June and generate about 25 construction jobs. The restoration is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Find maps, descriptions of the habitat and updates on its progress at http://www.portoftacoma.com/hylebos-creek .