Destination Point Defiance
Traffic revisions, fencing, and construction equipment are early signs of big improvements coming to Point Defiance Park under Destination Point Defiance.
Destination Point Defiance is a long-term comprehensive planning initiative started years ago to enhance the park’s experience and honor its character.
The capital improvement bond approved by voters in 2014 is funding much of the related construction work along with grants from the state RCO program, Washington State taxpayers, donors and other sources.
Some of the biggest projects will begin this spring and summer, including:
- The new aquarium, which will replace the aging North Pacific Aquarium.
- A shared-use Environmental Learning Center to be built by Tacoma Public Schools inside the Zoo.
- 11 acres of new park on the peninsula at Point Defiance Park.
Week of July 10
Construction Impacts: What's Happening
Fencing will go up around the lot on the corner of Pearl Street and North 54th Street. The lot, across from the park’s Pearl Street entrance, is owned by Metro Parks. Office trailers for contractors working on the waterfront and peninsula projects will be located on the site. To avoid disrupting neighbors, Metro Parks and the contractors will put dark fabric around the fence and will get to the site through the alley rather than Pearl or 54th. Please be aware the site is not open to the public; if you have questions or concerns, please instead call (253) 305-1092 or email email@example.com.
Week of July 17
Turner Construction will place office trailers on the right side of the Five Mile Drive inner loop in the parking lot next to the main picnic area (see the small red area in the map below, next to the Zoo). This will help the contractor coordinate work on the upcoming Pacific Seas Aquarium.
- Parking and pedestrian access: The north half of Lot A has been closed, and pedestrian access to Docks A and B will be limited to nights and weekends. See note about parking below. Flaggers will monitor the movement of trucks in the area.
- Sights and sounds: Neighbors will see and hear delivery trucks and large rock trucks moving into and out of the peninsula. Large earthmoving vehicles will operate on the site. The contractor’s work hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. On some days in the next few weeks, visitors may see workers in protective clothing since they are working in areas contaminated by the Asarco smelter's operation.
Map of construction and parking changes
Click on a colored area to view information about the area:
Boat Trailer Parking:
Parking will be limited for boat trailer parking. The north half of Lot A to the right of the park’s Pearl Street entrance has been closed. In August, all of Lot A will be closed.
The closures are necessary because crews will begin excavating the bluff and installing water quality treatment plants in preparation for the major excavation to take place over the next several months. Next summer, parking for boaters and other park visitors will be dramatically improved because of this work.
Check with an attendant at Point Defiance Marina if you're looking for a place to park, or call (253) 591-5325.
Please note: Large trucks have limited visibility. Whether you walk, drive, bicycle or use another form of transportation, please take heed of all construction signage and of people directing traffic. If you have general questions, comments or concerns about the construction, call (253) 305-1092 or email DestinationPointDefiance@tacomaparks.com.
The picnic shelter across from the Zoo is still accessible and is available on a first-come first-served basis. The playground is open.
Construction Impacts: What's Coming UpSome of the biggest projects will begin this spring and summer, including:
- The new Pacific Seas Aquarium, which will open in summer 2018. A ceremony marking the project's official start is scheduled for next week.
- A shared-use Environmental Learning Center to be built by Tacoma Public Schools inside the Zoo
- 11 acres of new recreation space on the peninsula at Point Defiance Park. Much of the work on this project started in 2015.
Impacts will include:
- All of Lot A will be closed in August.
- Trucks and construction equipment will be operating inside the area to the right of the park's Pearl Street entrance for several months.
Four Major Project Areas within Point Defiance Park
Community input helped shape the long-term plan for Point Defiance Park.
|Master Plan Focus Areas|
|Waterfront and Peninsula
New recreation space on the peninsula, trail linking Ruston Way, boat trailer parking and more
Envision an even more accessible, active and thriving waterfront.
As part of Waterfront Phase I, Metro Parks Tacoma has joined forces with the City of Tacoma to host an innovative water treatment system designed to improve Puget Sound water quality.
|Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Planning is under way for a new aquarium and exhibit renovations.
We will continue to address a mix of projects throughout the park.
Events Happening Here: