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$3 Million for Point Defiance

Here’s some good news for fans of Tacoma’s Ruston Way Waterfront and Point Defiance Park: ​Metro Parks Tacoma has been awarded $3 million in grants by Washington State to complete the connection between the Ruston Way waterfront trail and Point Defiance.

Point Defiance Missing Link

$2.5 million will go to the “missing link,” a one-half mile of 20-foot wide trail and pedestrian bridge over Pearl Street, which will be the final segment of the 7-mile waterfront pedestrian connection from downtown Tacoma along Ruston Way to Point Defiance. Other improvements included in the project include parking, lighting, utilities, landscaping, signage, and trail amenities. Metro Parks will contribute $2.5 million and a federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant towards the project.

Point Defiance Marine Estuary & Boardwalk

The other $500,000 will go to remove an existing bulkhead and road where the park meets the water behind the Tacoma Yacht Club. The project will create 2.5 acres of salt and fresh water estuaries and a 1,300-foot boardwalk. While the “missing link” trail takes the high road, crossing over Pearl Street access to the ferry and marina, the boardwalk will provide public access to the water’s edge, along with interpretive signs. The shoreline and estuaries will be designed for endangered species such as salmon and sand lance, and will serve as a learning laboratory for Tacoma School District’s Science and Math Institute, which will be involved in its design, development, maintenance, and monitoring. Metro Parks will contribute $3 million in cash and another grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office.

We don’t see a timeline for either of these from Metro Parks yet. Documents attached to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office project page for the Missing Link and Estuary & Boardwalk project pages lists the start date as July 2013, and a completion date of December 2014, but also note that information is subject to change.

So, who’s looking forward to a more connected waterfront?

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Ingrid Walker

Such great news - thanks for sharing this. Where, exactly, is the pedestrian bridge located (both ends)?

July 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Amazing news.  I didn’t realize they were closing down Waterfront Drive to devote to the completion of the trail.  It looks wonderful.  Kudos to Metro Parks on all these park projects.

July 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Great, meanwhile in the SouthEnd junkies are taking over the parks and kids still don’t have a place to cool off in the summer.  Thanks Tacoma Parks.

July 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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This cannot happen soon enough for me. Once completed, this waterfront will be the envy of many.

July 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Fabulous news - absolutely can’t wait-!!  It’s gonna be unbelievable.  We’re all so fortunate to live in such an amazing area - thanks to all involved, it’ll be worth it-!!

July 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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This is really great news—nice to see Pierce County faring so well in parks and recreation grants, too.  That said, until the crappy length of trail between downtown and Old Town becomes wider and less dingy feeling, our waterfront will still be a ways from meeting its recreational/bike/pedestrian potential.

July 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Fantastic news!  I can’t wait to see it all done!

July 16, 2013 at 6:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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