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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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