Metro Parks Tacoma

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Project Updates

Capital Projects Update – April 2018

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:The building will be fully closed in (windows, roof, walls) in the month of April. Interior walls are getting sheet-rock and the interior wall framing on the second floor is near completion.
  • 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 after the first of the year.

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: Grading is largely complete. The shoreline and parking lot closest to Point Ruston will be completed by summer 2018. The soil nail wall will be installed just above the Yacht Club Parking Lot A (below the MPT maintenance building) in January/February 2018, which will allow for final trail grading. The hardscape installation will be ongoing through the winter and into the spring of 2018. The three peninsula buildings will begin construction in January (2018) and be completed by late spring of 2018. Bridge installation is nearly complete, except for the rail installation. The final pieces of the rail (mesh infill) are currently being installed. .Landscape installation to be completed summer 2018.
  • 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: Traffic is now being rerouted with barricade to slightly adjust traffic flow.  This rerouting will last until the latter portion of the project that has an expect project completion of mid-June 2018.
  • 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 final Parking & Circulation Study has been submitted. A Public Meeting/Open House was held in February 2018 to present the final 30% Design Layout.  Waiting on final approval process.
  • 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: On hold pending final recommendations of Shared Use Trail system under Point Defiance Parking and Circulation Study as this influences final design of the Japanese Garden Expansion design.
  • Green House Relocation
    Relocated greenhouse production operations to the Tacoma Landfill.
    Status: Project is waiting on final internet connection.
  • 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: Shop drawings have been approved for fabrication.
  • 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: Next steps are cost evaluation for phasing, initial permitting meeting April 24 and start design development.

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: Construction is 85% complete. 
  • 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.
  • 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: Securing contract with selected contractor .Expecting to issue the notice to proceed in March.
  • Polar Bear Exhibit
    This exhibit opened in 1982 as part of the Rocky Shores/ Arctic Tundra Exhibit. It won the AZA Exhibit of the Year Award in 1983. This project is a significant upgrade and renovation to this historic exhibit.
    Status: ·Predesign kickoff was held in February with PGAV. Feasibility/conceptual study is due in early April.

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: 100% design development is complete. An Open House is being scheduled before the Park Board meeting on April 23.  Applying for a State Historical Heritage Grant that is due May 18.
  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restroom
    Design Development through construction of a restroom connecting to the existing conservatory.
    Status: More framing has gone up and the floor joists are being installed.
  • 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: The Waterway Park is starting with a Management and Operations Plan.  A tour of 3 boathouses will take place in April, along with a meeting with user groups, institutions, city entities, and residences. Surveying for Central Park is underway and the first steering meeting is being scheduled for the end of April.  Metro Parks is also proceeding with an RCO grant.
  • Neighbors Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status:  Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.

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: Schematic design is complete and we are moving into Design Development.  There has been a briefing to Landmarks and an artist has been chosen.  The next steering meeting is the end of April.

South Tacoma

  • Meadow Park Facility Improvements
    Identification and implementation of improvements, including irrigation control and upgrades to the restrooms, restaurant and pro shop.
    Status: Driving range work is progressing well. Golf ball storage is framed, and will receive roofing and siding in March. The teaching room is framed and will receive the structural joists and roof in March. The remaining work including structural reinforcing and ADA restroom upgrades have been reviewed and approved by City of Tacoma permitting
  • Oak Tree Site Upgrades & Art Project
    Implementation of Development Plan to include new parking lot and seasonal restroom shelter, tool storage shed, trail and path upgrades, site furniture, tree removals, prairie expansions and native plantings to support Oak habitat,  new nature playground, park ID and wayfinding/ interpretive signage. 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: Preparing SEPA for review in April/May. Going out for bid in June/July with construction targeted to start August/September 2018.
  • South Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.

South End

  • Wapato Park – Dock Replacement
    This will replace the two wooden dock structures for improved access and paddleboat/ kayak launching and events.
    Status: Waiting for final inspection and all punchlist items completed before opening. 
  • 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: Small Works bids are due 4/10, with construction to begin by May after contracts are executed.
  • Verlo Playfield
    Basketball court resurfacing and ADA access. ADA access to tennis court, consider alternative use for tennis court area.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.
  • Stewart Heights Park
    Court improvements.
    Status: Final design to be completed in April with construction to occur in Summer 2018.
  • Swan Creek Phase II - Master Plan Update and Construction
    Update masterplan and pursue conditional use permit
    Status: ·Master Plan public outreach with steering meetings and public meetings will begin in May.

North East

  • Browns Point Lighthouse
    Accessible pathways and promenade, additional parking, new furnishings.
    Status: Puget Paving selected contractor, with construction happening May thru July of 2018.
  • Browns Point Playfield
    Basketball and tennis court reconstruction due to large cracks, improve ADA parking and access route to basketball courts.  Make necessary improvements to play equipment.
    Status: Project bidding will start soon, with construction happening summer 2018.


  • Tacoma Nature Center Building and ADA Improvements
    The scope of work includes ADA upgrades and improvements to the entry ramp, and entry door; relocation of a utility pole at Discovery Pond; replacement of exterior wooden stair treads; and utility routing to Coyote Flats. There will also be minor site and signage upgrades on the TNC property and a Facility Assessment to the main building. Dependent upon the result of the facility assessment, the scope of work may shift to address needs at the main building.
    Status: Beginning selection process of choosing A&E consultant to develop construction and permit documents to improve and upgrade a failing exterior envelope (roof, windows, siding, doors, and exterior landings) of the main TNC building.

West End

  • Titlow Lagoon Design and Phase 1
    Provide matching funds for lagoon restoration in accordance with partnering agencies.
    Status:Awaiting final permit issuance from BNSF to allow for Geotechnical work. Geotechnical Investigation to occur in January 2018, pending BNSF approval.
  • 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: The Topographic Survey field work and Boundary Survey is complete. Scheduling public meetings for 2018.

Completed Projects:

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