Puyallup Herald

What’s happening on the street near Puyallup’s fairgrounds? Hint: no more parking

Construction has closed Puyallup’s 9th Avenue Southwest for until the state fair, for one of two projects to make a walkable promenade.

“It’s going to be a narrow road with extra wide sidewalks and no curbs,” said the city’s project manager Ted Hill.

By the end of the summer in 2020, 9th Avenue Soutwest from South Meridian Avenue to 5th Street Southwest will have no curbs, no gutters and no parking. The road will be narrowed for a “pedestrian-first” feel. Sidewalks will be flush with the street, using street lamps and potted plants to separate cars passing by and pedestrians.

Crews have torn up the street and are fixing the sewer and stormwater lines, Hill said. The current pipe system was built in the 1940s and is due for replacement.

9th Ave Concept-page-001.jpg
The plans for Puyallup’s 9th Avenue SW include leveling the sidewalk and street while expanding the walking area. Courtesy of the city of Puyallup

Fixing the utilities is the first half of the project, Hill said, and expected to be completed before the fair in late August so the road can open for the festivities.

“We’ve really worked closely with the fair on this one,” the project manager said.

Once a contractor is chosen, the second phase will shut down the road again around March or April, Hill said. The sidewalks and curbs will be ripped out and leveled with the road. Sidewalks will be extended 16 feet on the south side and 10 feet on the north. Street lamps designed to look like those at Disney parks, trees and potted plants will be added to beautify the walkways.

The entire project will cost about $4 million, $1 million of which was donated by the Washington State Fair.

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.