Metro Parks Tacoma

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Project Updates

Capital Projects Update – July 2017

Partnership Initiatives

  • Eastside Community Center
    Metro Parks is working with Tacoma Public Schools, the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties to develop a new facility to meet the needs of the Eastside community. We’ll have more updates in the months ahead.
    Status: Construction has begun with mass excavation happening through July. Foundation and other site work continue through August.
  • Prairie Line Trail
    Metro Parks is coordinating with the City of Tacoma for an extension of the urban trail that follows the former Prairie Line Rail corridor from South 23rd Street through the UW Tacoma campus and extending to Dock Street along the Thea Foss Waterway. This phase will complete the trail from Pacific Avenue to Dock Street.
    Status: The City is in the right-of-way phase of finalizing easements and is scheduled to bid in early 2017.

Point Defiance Park Projects
(see for more information about Waterfront Phase I and the Master Plan Update)

  • Point Defiance Park - Waterfront Phase 1
    Complete the public pathway from Point Ruston to Point Defiance Park with a new trail and bridge over Pearl Street. Provide a new location for boat and trailer parking to support the existing boat launch. Finish the remediation work at the Point Defiance peninsula and establish a new park on the peninsula land.
    Status: In-water work is complete. Shoreline remediation (above in-water line) and peninsula capping procedures continue. Utility installation is ongoing and will continue through the summer. Tacoma Yacht Club landscaping is around 95% complete and getting prepared for final plantings. The concrete work on the bridge is complete. The false work has been removed and the bridge rail installation will follow begin within the next three weeks. Black plastic will continue to be removed and final grading will continue on the boat launch parking lot and the trail/bluffs over the next four weeks.
  • Point Defiance Park -– Roundabouts
    Design and build roundabouts at the entrance to Point Defiance Park, while updating the intersection at 51st & Pearl and providing a bike lane from 51st to 54th.
    Status: The roundabout construction contract is being reviewed. A work order was submitted to the City of Tacoma with comments due back the middle of June. The City of Ruston Street Excavation permit is in process. WSDOT final approval occurs once both city reviews are complete. Outreach letters were sent the week of 5/9/2017. Two public meetings occurred (5/30 and 6/6). Next public outreach is a final letter to be sent. Construction will begin once the permitting agencies are through with their reviews.
  • Parking and Circulation Study
    This is a full comprehensive study for the vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic circulation and additional parking at Point Defiance Park. After study is completed, will be presented with alternatives for additional parking and improved circulation.
    Status: The consultant is finalizing design drawings and reports. Public Meeting #4 is being scheduled.
  • Japanese Garden Design
    In cooperation with Tacoma’s sister city Kitakyushu, this project will reconstruct the Japanese garden in front of the Pagoda in the traditional style. This phase will complete the design as we work with Japanese Garden Designers from Japan.
    Status: Three workshops, a public meeting, and two web page surveys have led to the development and review of a 'Preferred Option' for the Garden and the pedestrian/bicycle circulation related to the Loop Trail Project. In addition, the design team held a Skype meeting with the designers in Kitakyushu to coordinate potential modifications of the site and to involve them in the overall visioning for the entire garden surrounding the Pagoda.
  • Green House Relocation
    Relocated greenhouse production operations to the Tacoma Landfill.
    Status: Final completion expected late June 2017.
  • Boat Lift Improvements
    Improvements will be made to the grates, guide beams, lift enclosures, switches and other improvements as a result of the inspection/design process.
    Status: Project design and review is almost complete. Expect to go out for bid in September 2017.
  • Point Defiance Owen Beach Improvements
    Site improvements at Owen Beach that include new restroom building, renovation and addition of new shelter, new playground, kayak launch and beach accessibility, parking, landscaping and walkway improvements.
    Status: SiteWorkshop will begin designs the first of July 2017 with a staff charrette planned to move the project forward.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
(also see the zoo’s capital projects page for more information)

  • New Aquarium
    Design and construction of a new aquarium to replace the aging North Pacific Aquarium.
    Status: Phase 2 work is underway. Radiant heat and concrete complete for the elevated decks. The Baja Bay tank wall is complete, with work on the Northwest Waters tank wall starting.
  • PDZA Rocky Shores Underwater Viewing Window Improvements
    Remove eight existing windows and replace in-kind for puffin, otter, walrus and sea lion exhibit area.  Included are new frames, bolts and sealants.
    Status: All work on this project is complete. Project will be closed out once contractual paperwork requirements are met by the contractor.
  • Aquatic Animal Care Center
    The Aquatic Animal Care Center will serve as a quarantine space, nursery and breeding facility for animals that will live in the new aquarium. Key physical elements are: concrete slab approximately 3500 square feet, steel structure to be purchased and installed on the slab, utility upgrades for power, water and sewer.
    Status: The Life Support System (LSS) equipment is being installing by PDZA operations staff.  Final completion is LSS assembled and tested to be "fish ready."
  • Picnic Shelter
    Construct a picnic shelter to be placed in the location where Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium currently sets up tents for this purpose every summer. This is to be a permanent structure.
    Status: Schematic design is complete. Consultant is currently working on design and bid documents.

Other Highlights from Neighborhood Council Areas

New Tacoma

  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restoration and Expansion
    Renovation and expansion of the conservatory. Steering committee formed and schematic design is underway.
    Status Contractor will resume design development the first of July 2017.
  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restroom
    Design Development through construction of a restroom connecting to the existing conservatory.
    Status: Bids were presented to the Park Board July 10.  Anticipated construction start is the end of July or early August.
  • Foss Waterway Parks
    In collaboration with the Foss Waterway Development Authority this project includes the design for two park sites along the Foss Waterway including a new boathouse facility for kayaks and shells.
    Status: Proceeding into Design Development drawings and public input for Waterway and Central Parks. FWDA prepping to move the project forward into a fund raising phase in cooperation with MPT.   A facility business/program plan is being considered for the human-powered watercraft facilities as well.  Cost for a design development phase has been submitted by SiteWorkshop and currently is under review.

North Tacoma

  • Dickman Mill Park Expansion & Head Saw
    An extension of the existing Dickman Mill Park. This is to restore and publicly display the historic Head Saw and provide plaza space with expanded decking for viewing.
    Status: Scope Definition is complete and the RFQ has been advertised.  Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) are due July 20.

South Tacoma

  • Meadow Park Facility Improvements
    Identification and implementation of improvements, including irrigation control and upgrades to the restrooms, restaurant and pro shop.
    Status: Further design for permitting of the driving range is underway, along with additional design work for structural reinforcing of the foundation walls. The remaining work outside of the structural reinforcing, such as ADA restroom upgrades, and the additional construction at the driving range, is scheduled for bidding late August or September. Construction will occur through the fall, and into the winter.
  • Oak Tree Site Upgrades & Art Project
    After the city completed the Prairie Line Trail, Metro Parks Tacoma will provide restoration to two adjacent areas to the trail (pump house parking lot, gravel pit and partnering with the COT with an art project).
    Status: Phase 1 of the project will include the Meadow Area, with earthwork and planting targeted for fall 2017. Phase 2 includes the parking area. A meeting with Tacoma Water is scheduled for July to discuss pavement and easements.

South End

  • Wapato Park – Dock Replacement
    This will replace the two wooden dock structures for improved access and paddleboat/ kayak launching.
    Status: Construction is expected to start July 10, 2017.
  • Charlotte’s Blueberry Park Garden/Playground
    Design of community garden/park amenities. Continuation of public process to address possible addition of playfield, trails, and/or wetland enhancement.
    Status: Working on construction documents for presentation to staff and the community.  The community garden is the top priority at this time.

North East

  • Browns Point Lighthouse
    Accessible pathways and promenade, additional parking, new furnishings.
    Status: The Shoreline Development Permit has been obtained. An archeology survey is currently being performed, with the site development permit expected in spring 2017. Construction is anticipated to start late summer 2017.


  • Tacoma Nature Center Building and ADA Improvements
    This covers staircase replacements, an entry ramp redesign and a restroom update.
    Status: A&E Consultant finished documentation for ADA and site improvements. BCRA Nexus assessed the TNC main building, and is finalizing the report of findings. Additional work on the building, beyond ADA upgrades, is dependent on the results of the assessment.

West End

  • Titlow Lagoon Design and Phase 1
    Provide matching funds for lagoon restoration in accordance with partnering agencies.
    Status: Pending. Communications are underway with South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group regarding Master Plan Update for Titlow Park.
  • Titlow/Hidden Beach Improvements
    Hidden Beach and natural area trail/path/beach access upgrades. Landscaping enhancements, natural area restoration, demolition of shelter and old restroom at Hidden Beach. Utility modifications at former TOA facility. Remove or perform bridge retrofits to TOA Railroad bridge.
    Status: Consultant was selected for the survey and demolition project, with contract negotiations underway. Bid are due June 16, 2017 for updating the Titlow Park Master Plan.

Completed Projects:

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