Ruston Way reopens today
You can forget the circuitous, hilly detour that took you from Tacoma’s Waterfront Ruston Way to Pearl Street for the last year.
Yes, Ruston Way at long last was set to reopen to traffic this morning across the former Asarco smelter site now morphed into a growing mixed-use development called Point Ruston.
The gates blocking the long waterfront roadway from crossing onto Point Ruston’s property will swing open at 8 a.m., said Point Ruston development manager Mike Cohen.
The construction barriers impeding Baltimore Street’s connection to Point Ruston will fall sometime this afternoon.
The newly realigned roadway replaces the century-old Ruston Tunnel with a tree-lined, bike and pedestrian-oriented boulevard that includes a wide multi-use sidewalk path.
The narrow, angled tunnel passed under the land that supported the ducts that carried emissions from the copper smelter to a tall stack on the crest of the hill. The smelter was closed in the mid-’80s. The stack was demolished a few years later.
The tunnel will be filled with waste materials from the smelter site construction project.