Puyallup Herald

Sumner asks Sound Transit for pedestrian bridge to serve cut-off neighborhood

Sumner wants people to help it win a $452,000 grant with Sound Transit to build a pedestrian bridge connecting Rivergrove to the Sounder station.

State Route 410 cuts off the Rivergrove neighborhood from the city, a school and the Sounder station, leaving residents to walk alongside the highway or drive a mile and a half.

“This is a long-held dream, and we saw a couple opportunities to see if we could make this a reality,” said Carmen Palmer, Sumner’s spokesperson.

Cities and counties across the Puget Sound are competing for $50 million in grants with Sound Transit’s “System Access Fund.” The agency has received 53 proposals to improve access to public transportation from Snohomish to Pierce counties.

To qualify, a project has to demonstrate a clear connection to a Sound Transit facility, design or build physical improvements to sidewalks, bike lanes, or new pickup/drop-off areas, or improve technological features for public transit riders.

If Sumner wins one of Sound Transit grants for the $452,000 project, the bridge also would connect the city to the Foothills Trail along the Puyallup River and then to Orting. The agency graded the bids, “highly recommending” Sumner’s bridge.

Residents are asked to vote on projects and rank Pierce County’s 12 applications.

Sumner submitted a second project for $1.5 million to improve downtown sidewalks. Puyallup bids include $309,000 for wheelchair ramps, and a million for bike lane extensions. Tacoma is also in the running with two projects: a downtown improvement plan for $3.5 million to fix sidewalks, lighting and landscaping, and a second to increase access to the Dome station for $1.5 million.

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.