Public works – Road closures and sewer projects

Work to install University Place sewer main and rehabilitate pump station starts March 23 

A project to rehabilitate a wastewater pump station and install a new sanitary sewer force main in University Place will start March 23. The work is expected to be completed in September.

This project will increase sewer capacity to allow continued growth in University Place.

Construction will take place along Morrison Road West, approximately 650 feet south of 27th Street West. Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Installation of the force main will require crews to cut a six-foot-deep trench in the roads along the approximately half-mile project area.

Morrison Road West, 35th Street West and 72nd Avenue Court West will remain open during construction, although the roads may be reduced to one lane with alternating traffic. Flaggers will be on-site to direct traffic, but motorists should expect delays.

The pump station currently directs wastewater to the City of Tacoma’s sewer system before being pumped back to Pierce County’s system. Rehabilitation of the pump station will include upgrading electrical systems and pumps to extend the useful service life of the facility.

Because of growth in the sewer system’s service area, the amount of wastewater being sent to the City of Tacoma has exceeded contractual limits. Instead of renegotiating the contract, Pierce County has decided to build a new force main and redirect flows south to the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The new force main will be approximately a half-mile long. It will be connected to the pump station and will run along the northbound lane of Morrison Road West, east along 35th Street West, and south along 72nd Avenue Court West. The force main will connect to an existing 10-inch sewer main located on a City of University Place property south of 72nd Avenue Court West.

Northwest Cascade, Inc. is the project’s contractor. The project is estimated to cost $1.4 million and is funded with Pierce County sewer rehabilitation and replacement funds.

For more project information, click here:

Meridian Avenue East sewer project underway March 23 to mid-July

A project to extend sewer facilities under Meridian Avenue East (State Route 161) at several South Hill intersections will begin March 23. The work is expected to be complete by mid-July.

Work will be done at the highway’s intersections with 146th Street East, 147th Street East, 149th Street East and 158th Street East. This project will extend sewer availability to the other side of the highway from existing sewer mains in the South Hill area. New manholes will be installed at each intersection.

Work at the Meridian Avenue East and 146th Street East, 147th Street East and 158th Street East intersections will occur in the highway right-of-way and will not require lane closures on Meridian Avenue East. Crews will work from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Work at the Meridian Avenue East and 149th Street East intersection is expected to begin mid-May. There will be nighttime closures of up to two southbound lanes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday to Wednesday and from midnight to 6 a.m. Thursday. Traffic will be able to pass through the work zone using the middle turn-only lane. All lanes will remain open during daytime hours.

Crews will work for approximately two weeks at each intersection.

Local, business and emergency access will be provided.

Northwest Cascade Inc. is the contractor for this project. The estimated project cost is $1.5 million and is funded by the Sewer Facility Restricted Reserve Fund.

Learn more about this project and sign up for email alerts at

File photo
File photo

About the Pierce County sewer system: The Pierce County sewer system collects wastewater from a 117-square-mile area serving 294,000 people in University Place, Lakewood, DuPont, Steilacoom, Milton and a portion of Tacoma. It also serves the unincorporated communities of Parkland, Spanaway, Midland, South Hill, Tehaleh and Frederickson.

Union Avenue at Thorne Lane in Tillicum closed through May

LAKEWOOD – Travelers who use the Interstate 5 and Thorne Lane interchange headed to Camp Murray or Tillicum will need to plan extra time into their trips.

At 8 a.m. Monday, March 16, construction crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation building the new I-5/Thorne Lane interchange closed a one-block section of Union Avenue between Spruce Street and Thorne Lane.

The around-the-clock closure will be in place until the end of May. The closure will allow construction crews to raise the profile of Union Avenue over 23 feet so the street connects with the new Thorne Lane overpass.

During the closure, travelers will detour on Thorne Lane to Portland Avenue and to Berkeley Street.

The I-5/Thorne Lane interchange will remain open during daytime hours, however crews will continue to close the off-and on-ramps during overnight hours.

Two-week closure of 146th Street Southwest:

In addition to the Union Avenue closure, over the weekend construction crews closed 146th Street Southwest at Murray Road around-the-clock until March 28. This will allow new curbs and sidewalks to be built at the intersection of Murray Road and 146th Street Southwest. During the closure, drivers will detour using Spring Street Southwest and 150th Street Southwest.

More information about construction at Thorne Lane is available via the WSDOT blog.

An updated construction schedule that lists overnight ramp closures for this project is available on Before heading out the door, travelers can find the latest road conditions on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.