The two-year construction project along South Mildred Street in Tacoma is nearing completion.
The $2.5 million project repaved and improved the roadway between South 12th and 19th streets. Upgrades included the addition of bicycle lanes, bus pullouts and midblock pedestrian islands, along with pedestrian crossings with flashing beacons.
The city also is installing new sidewalks, curb ramps and driveways to make them meet federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Also, a larger water pipe is being installed to improve the drainage system and help reduce flooding during the rainy season.
The addition of bicycle lanes cuts two lanes of motorized traffic from the previous five.
Construction is expected to be complete by the end of October.
The project has caused significant traffic backups, with only one lane in each direction open at a time. Traffic control workers and equipment were used to help guide drivers, city spokesman Mark D’Andrea said.
“Full road closures and detour routes were temporary and only used during major construction operations,” he said.
Temporary traffic signals helped drivers reach local businesses, and the city worked with Pierce Transit to maintain bus service during the project.
Concrete used in the roadway will provide a “long-term and generally maintenance free driving surface,” D’Andrea said.
A federal grant of $940,000 allowed the city to replace the roadway with an 8-inch-thick concrete section instead of adding two inches of asphalt to the original surface.
“The federal funds were instrumental in allowing the city to move forward with the construction of a concrete roadway,” D’Andrea said.