After an admittedly slow start, Tacoma public works officials hope to kick the voter-approved streets initiative into high gear this year.
Plans revealed to the City Council this spring call for spending $19.8 million to fix 605 residential blocks and a pay for several stand-alone projects.
The city spent about $10.6 million in 2016, the first year of the initiative, to complete improvements to 295 residential blocks, according to public works officials.
Much of that work was in the city’s South End and Central District.
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“We got a little bit of a late start in 2016 because we were still planning, designing, coordinating with utilities staff, getting equipment in place,” Erik Sloan, the city’s pavement manager, told the City Council during a study session last month.
Voters in 2015 approved a 10-year package of taxes designed to raise $175 million to fix the city’s streets. The City Council pledged another $30 million, and officials hope to attract $120 million in grant money for a total of $325 million for street repairs.
Work includes complete repaving of many streets, and overdue preventative maintenance, including sealing cracks, on others. Public works leaders hope to pave some of the city’s nearly 115 blocks of gravel streets.
Scheduled work in 2017 includes:
▪ Pavement overlay in an area north of North 30th Street between Stevens and Orchard; in the area around Boze Elementary School at East 65th and East M streets; a large group of streets along East Roosevelt from about East 34th to East 38th streets; and an area around Stewart Middle School near South 50th and Pacific.
▪ Chip sealing in the area of North 21st Street west of North Pearl Street.
▪ Sealing cracks, patching pavement and other preventative maintenance along the South Yakima Street corridor between South 56th and South 72nd streets.
“Both city crews and contractor crews are on the street actively overlaying residential streets, sealing pavement cracks and preparing for this summer’s surface treatment program,” said Stacy Ellifritt, a city spokeswoman.
Detailed maps and more information on the city of Tacoma’s plans for street repairs are available at tacomastreetsinitiative.org.