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Point Defiance Park roundabout detour begins; Mildred St. best entry/exit

March 6, 2018

Park and all attractions open as workers streamline Pearl Street traffic flow; ferry traffic unaffected

Although Point Defiance Park and all of its attractions will remain open, construction of the Point Defiance Park roundabout has introduced a traffic detour at the park’s Pearl Street entrance.

Vehicular traffic is still allowed into the park through Pearl Street, but drivers now must exit the park via Mildred Street or the ferry traffic lanes. Ferry traffic will not be affected.

Construction is scheduled to conclude in late June. Work is expected to take place from morning into early evening Monday through Saturday on most days in an effort to complete the work efficiently and quickly.

The roundabout should improve safety and smooth traffic flow into and out of the park, the Point Defiance Marina boat launch and the Vashon Island ferry landing. During the project, Metro Parks also will adjust the arrangement of lanes leading from Pearl Street down to the boat launch and ferry terminal, effectively adding a third queuing lane for ferry traffic just north of the ticket booth.

Tips for entering and leaving the park

Pedestrians should follow pedestrian detour signs near the construction area.

The best option for drivers entering the park will be to use the Mildred Street entrance. It can be reached from North Pearl Street by turning west onto North 51st Street and following the curve at the end of North 51st Street to Mildred Street.

All drivers will still be able to enter the park from Pearl Street. Detour signs will direct traffic down to the ferry dock, boat launches and into the Pagoda, pond and gardens areas.

Drivers will have two ways to leave the park:

  • Via Mildred Street (follow traffic signs placed throughout the park)
  • By way of the Point Defiance Marina. From the park’s pond and gardens area, the first right turn after the Pagoda takes traffic downhill to the Marina. From there, share the southbound lanes with Vashon Island ferry traffic to exit onto North Pearl Street.

The roundabout is just one of multiple improvements underway at Point Defiance Park, including a new Pacific Seas Aquarium inside Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 11 acres of waterfront recreation space built atop the breakwater peninsula and a bridge and trail that will connect the park’s trails to Point Ruston and Ruston Way.

More details about the roundabout and other park improvement projects can be found at




Michael Thompson, Public Information Manager, (253) 305-1092;