Capital projects at Point Defiance Park receive national award for Historic Restoration

Dune Peninsula at Pt Defiance Park

Capital projects at Point Defiance Park receive national award for Historic Restoration

The American Public Works Association (APWA) has recognized Point Defiance Park’s “Waterfront Phase 1” project with a national award for Historic Restoration/Preservation.

Primary Agency: Metro Parks Tacoma
Primary Contractor: Guy F. Atkinson Construction, LLC
Primary Consultant: Site Workshop
Category: Historical Restoration / Preservation

The Point Defiance Park Waterfront is built on the 67-acre ASARCO smelter site, which was listed as the first Superfund site in the nation. The development of this site posed many unique challenges. It is the largest project in Metro Parks history and the park district, along with numerous partners, took a multi-faceted approach to enhance the park experience and honor its character.

Waterfront Phase 1 saw the construction of a pedestrian bridge to finally connect the Ruston Way Waterfront to Point Defiance Park, and convert a slag peninsula into a safe, welcoming park. The work involved moving 400,000 cubic yards of dirt and installing a woven geotextile cap. All of this work was managed by general contractor Guy F Atkinson Construction, LLC (Atkinson) under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The new features include:

  • Wilson Way bridge: The 605-foot-long bridge, which towers above a new parking lot for park users and boat trailers, was the missing link between Point Defiance and Ruston Way.
  • Dune Peninsula: Eleven acres of the peninsula created by ASARCO slag were covered with tons of dirt and the artificial cap, and then beautifully sculpted, landscaped, and given many amenities such as benches, tables and a small pavilion with restrooms and rentable space.
  • Frank Herbert Trail: This paved pedestrian trail, named for the Tacoma native and famed author of the groundbreaking science fiction novel Dune, loops around the peninsula and connects to the Ruston Way Waterwalk as well as the Wilson Way Bridge.

Read more about the project