Tacoma breaks ground on South Sprague Avenue enhancement project

Tacoma city officials marked the beginning of construction of the South Sprague Avenue enhancement project with a groundbreaking ceremony this morning.

The project will provide landscape improvements and enhanced visual buffers from South Sprague Avenue and the adjacent residential street to the east, known as residential Sprague or “Little Sprague,” according to City staff. Just over half an acre of arterial roadway stormwater runoff will be treated with bio-retention rain gardens, and nearly half an acre will be enhanced with landscaping that will improve the city’s tree canopy and reduce rainwater runoff in the Foss watershed. A new median will be constructed in South Sprague Avenue to provide traffic calming for a new neighborhood gateway wing also included in this project.

Last month, Tacoma City Council awarded a $548,429.25 contract to Westwater Construction Company to complete the first phase of the project.

The second phase of the project, which is tentatively schedule to begin next fall, is currently in the preliminary design phase. That phase of the project will include the installation of landscape plantings west side of South Sprague Avenue from South 23rd to 19th Streets, and the installation of pervious pavement, a defined parking lane (east side) and swales to improve drainage (west side) to the residential stretch of Sprague Avenue between South 25th and 19th Streets.

Tacoma City Councilmembers Ryan Mello and Lauren Walker joined Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Central Neighborhood Council Chair Justin Leighton Monday morning to break ground on the South Sprague Avenue enhancement project. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)