Soil remediation project under way at future Foss Waterway Park

Visitors to the head of Thea Foss Waterway near the D Street Overpass will notice much activity at the future site of Waterway Park.

According to Su Dowie, interim executive director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA), a remediation project is under way to clean the former American Plating site, located at 2110 East D Street and adjacent to Berg Scaffolding, in order to meet Model Toxics Control Act standards.

“The work began on-site in May and the clean-up is anticipated to be complete about the end of June,” Dowie told the Tacoma Daily Index on Tuesday. “Landscaping and habitat plantings will follow. A portion of the site will open for public access once the grass and habitat plantings are established. The balance of the site will be used by Berg Scaffolding until funding can be secured to complete design and full development of the site as a public park.”

The project is being funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and FWDA. The work under way includes “removing heavily contaminated soils, covering other contamination with three feet of clean soil, and monitoring groundwater,” according to the Department of Ecology.

According to a report completed by the Department of Ecology in 2003, between 1955 and 1986, three different companies operated industrial metal electroplating activities on the 1.5-acre site.

Four years ago, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma considered the site when it planned to move out of its headquarters on Broadway in downtown Tacoma. Instead, the museum moved into a building on Pacific Avenue.

FWDA purchased the site in 2005 with plans to create a public park for visitors to launch kayaks or canoes and enjoy views across the waterway of nearby downtown Tacoma.

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For earlier Tacoma Daily Index coverage of Waterway Park, visit our archives for the following articles:

— “Waterfront site eliminated, Children’s Museum regroups,” Tacoma Daily Index, 05/14/08

— “Open space or Children’s Museum? Future unclear for planned Foss Waterway conservation site,” Tacoma Daily Index, 02/28/08