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Destination Point Defiance

Coming to Point Defiance: Hammerheads,
new recreation space & more!
 
Destination Point Defiance Logo
Traffic revisions, fencing, and construction equipment are 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 have begun! They include:
 

 

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Construction Impacts: What's Happening

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Construction  Updates
August 29, 2016

Point Defiance Park improvements prompt more changes
All attractions remain open; progress continues on multiple capital projects

Beginning Monday, and lasting through Friday, a portion of a small two-way street within the park will be limited to one-way.

Signs will give directions, and all attractions in Point Defiance Park will remain open as normal.

The change will let crews access a nearby water main as they work on the new Environmental Learning Center, a collaborative project between Metro Parks Tacoma and Tacoma Public Schools. The center, with space for 400 students of the Science and Math Institute, plus Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium visitors and staff, is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

The small portion of street involved runs between Five Mile Drive and the entrance to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Access to the Zoo will not be affected, but the quickest way to reach the Zoo may be from the park’s Mildred Street entrance. Drivers entering the park on Mildred Street will need to detour around the park’s “bowl” to get to attractions such as Owen Beach and Fort Nisqually Living History Museum.

Boat launch parking
On Sept. 15, contractors will close parking lot B, located west of the ferry access road. This lot, and the larger Lot A, will be closed until next summer. Metro parks contractors will post signs to alert drivers to detours, and a person will be in place then to flag traffic near the Pearl Street entrance. Access to the park will remain open as usual.

Lots A and B are popular with boaters. Point Defiance Marina boat launch attendants may suggest alternative locations for trailer parking. The Marina also has been running a free shuttle service for boaters in the area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Boaters can flag down the shuttle, with its Point Defiance Marina logo, during those hours.

The lot closures are needed as work on the waterfront and peninsula continues this fall. The work will lead to the creation of an 11-acre “park on the peninsula” next to Tacoma Yacht Club, improved boat trailer parking and a pedestrian bridge linking the park to the Point Ruston trail and finally Ruston Way.

New Aquarium

  • This week mass earthwork excavation continues to cut down the hill for the Aquarium site.
  • Visitors will see and hear heavy equipment and dump trucks.
  • Park neighbors will see and hear dump trucks going in and out of the Pearl Street entrance.
    Work hours: 6 am to 4 pm

Waterfront Phase I – Triangle

  • This week we will continue excavating material on the bluff.  Excavation and embankment on top of the triangle will also begin, and the parking lot will continue to be shut down.
  • Visitors will see and hear large earthmoving equipment.  Minor demolition will take place, and clearing of the remaining area will continue.
  • Neighbors will see and hear large earthmoving equipment.  Minor demolition will take place, and clearing of the remaining area will continue.
  • Traffic impacts: The boat trailer parking lot will be reduced in size.
  • Caution is advised:  Large rock trucks have limited visibility to pedestrians and vehicles. Please take heed of all construction signage and personnel directing traffic for safety.
    Work hours 6:30 am to 6 pm

Waterfront Phase I - Peninsula

  • This week we will continue with embankment on the peninsula.  The sails for the park will be constructed up to subgrade, and more work around Reach D and C1 will take place.
  • Visitors will see and hear large earthmoving equipment, in-water work from the parking lot and in-water work from a barge.  Rock delivery trucks will be present as well.
  • Neighbors will see large earthmoving equipment, in-water work from the parking lot and in-water work from a barge.  Rock delivery trucks will be present as well.
  • Traffic impacts: Traffic entering the yacht club property will be flagged through the entrance to ensure no conflicts with equipment take place.  Lot A and Waterfront Drive will be closed to vehicles at all times, pedeestrian access will be limited to off-work hours.  Access to Dock B & A will be limited through a temporary connection at Dock C during working hours.
  • Caution is advised:  Large rock trucks have limited visibility to pedestrians and vehicles. Please take heed of all construction signage and personnel directing traffic for safety.

    Thousands of cubic yards of dirt moving on peninsula
    Waterfront Phase I crews moved a record 7,300 cubic yards of dirt on Thursday, August 18. The target was 3,000 cubic yards a day. As of August 19, 110,000 cubic yards of dirt have been moved out to the peninsula.

    The next big phase will start in a couple of weeks. At that point, 15 truck-and-trailer combinations will be in constant rotation all day to haul 60,000 cubic yards of clean dirt off-site.

    The increase in trucks will require a person to flag traffic near the Pearl Street entrance. Metro Parks will monitor traffic into the ferry terminal and take additional measures to ensure smooth traffic flow if needed.
    Work hours 6:30 am to 6 pm

Environmental Learning Center
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is collaborating with Tacoma Public Schools’ Science and Math Institute (SAMI) on an environmental learning center to serve SAMI students and staff, as well as Zoo visitors and staff.  Get ELC construction updates >
 

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Map of construction and parking changes

Click on a colored area to view information about the area:
 

 

 

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