Prairie Line Trail Plans Move Forward, With a Few Unexpected Issues

With work well underway on the UWT Station section of the Prairie Line Trail, City design plans are moving forward as well - and finding a few unexpected issues.

The City is now working on finalizing plans for the northern third of the one (ish) mile pedestrian and bike corridor that will connect Tacoma's Brewery District to the Foss Waterway. This is the 20-foot wide section between 17th and Pacific and Dock Street, running along Hood Street, between the Tacoma Art Museum, and the United Way building at the corner of 15th and Pacific.

The News Tribune reports that the project is running about $300,000 over the $1.75 million budget due to a couple of unforseen issues. First, it looks like a retaining wall will be needed to level the slope along the Hood Street section of the trail. Plans are for a natural stone wall, planted with honeysuckle as a low-maintenance deterrent to vandalism. Another issue arose when soil was discovered to be more contaminated than expected, meaning it will have to be removed as a part of trail construction.

Other added costs could come from changes to the connection between Hood and Dock streets, and the need to route the path around the existing billboard that stands in front of the Art Museum, smack in the path of the trail. That billboard has a perpetual easement, so the City would have to negotiate with Clear Channel to get it removed (good luck with that).

The TNT has more on the project, including details of how the City plans to tie the trail to the history of the Prairie Line for users. Getting the trail itself built is just the beginning for this particular open space. Future plans envision a linear park with a scupture garden, narrative elements telling stories of all the historical elements connected to the space, and events and programming to activate the public spaces.

Then there's the hope that some day someone at the City will be able to negotiate with BNSF for the remainder of the 80-foot-wide right of way between the Art Museum and the United Way building. Maybe some day...

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Meanwhile in the South End, the citizens that continue to work hard at improving their homes to make the area more attractive for the good of Tacoma, will continue to deal with A home for delinquents within arms reach of a high school, drug addicts dependent on the Methadone clinic also within close proximity of a high school that funnels them to 38th street to shoot up behind businesses and the endless code violations that have been ignored for years in the Lincoln District that plague our community.  Thank you Tacoma for this trail.

July 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Come on, don’t be hater. I’ve lived in the Lincoln District for a long time and have witnessed the long decline (some of it fueled by city policy). But I love UWT and the whole area. I’m happy something is going right.

July 26, 2014 at 7:10 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Quite the opposite, I think this is great, but not when other parts of our city are being neglected due to poor city performance.  Stop cheerleading and do something for our district, maybe one day this blog will actually address the serious problems in our district for all of Tacoma to see how deficient our business district is and how neglectful our city people have and continue to be on our side of town.  I spoke with three different agencies in order to address some issues this week.  Not one of the individuals I spoke with have ever stepped foot in our district.  Folks, we are a stones throw from downtown, that is sad.  What ever happened to know the area you are responsible for.

July 26, 2014 at 11:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Yeah, I know it’s tough….. the Hilltop is the down-in-out hood of choice for your City elite… as well as the big project hoods to our Southeast. The Lincoln District isn’t really on the City radar, But Puget Sound Hospital is coming down and the County is building a bunch of new offices. That will help more than anything the City ever did.

July 26, 2014 at 1:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Confused in the North End

Is this really a 1/3 of a mile of trail for $2 million?  And we got the original plan wrong and it was low by 18%?

July 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Tim Smith

Yes…amazing. Way down the line the Water Flume trail presents a different tale of a trail.

After years of asking, pleading, and lobbying, a controlled street crossing was finally put on 56th Street. Finally a safe way to cross the street and connect 2 Council-manic districts with lights that actually respond when one pushes the shiny button and proper pavement and warning markings.
Of course no attempt was made to coordinate this with future plans so now that we want to beautify the 56th street corridor from I-5 to Chambers bay , one of the first things to shred is the crosswalk. Its just tax money.

July 27, 2014 at 4:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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