A new flood of container traffic at the Port of Tacoma has made the port’s major arterial, Port of Tacoma Road, into an artery that more resembles a wagon road than a heavy-duty highway.
Now, with news of a nearly $6 million grant from the state’s Transportation Improvement Board, that road’s sorry condition is about to change for the better.
The port and the City of Tacoma said the road’s reconstruction from East 11th Street to Marshall Avenue now has a green light for construction beginning next spring.
The total cost of the repaving is expected to be $9.16 million, said the city. In addition to the $5.94 million grant from the Transportation Improvement Board, the funding package will include some $865,000 from the port, $871,000 from the city, $52,000 from Tacoma Rail, $1 million from the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board and $429,000 from the Puget Sound Regional Council.
The Transportation Improvement Board’s grants are funded by a 3-cent-per-gallon state fuel tax.
The road’s asphalt surface will be replaced with heavier duty concrete. Increased truck traffic brought on by the move of the Grand Alliance shipping consortium two years ago to Tacoma from Seattle has left the road pockmarked with potholes and wavy pavement.
The project will be done in a way that will allow continued access to port terminals during the construction. Design of the project began in 2013 and is expected to be complete by this winter. The construction project is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
In addition to the new roadway, the project will include new sidewalks built to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The project will include a new traffic signal at the entrance to Washington United Terminal and at Lincoln Avenue. A temporary signal now controls traffic at the WUT entrance.