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Puyallup River Bridge

Puyallup River Bridge Aerial View

About the Bridge

The Puyallup Avenue Bridge, that crosses the Puyallup River and links Tacoma to the city of Fife to its east, was opened in 1927. It was opened as one of Washington's last segments of the famous Pacific Highway, also known as State Route 1 and in later years, Highway 99. The bridge is made up of five steel-truss spans linked by reinforced concrete sections. It was financed in approximately equal measure by the federal and state governments, took barely more than a year to build, and was finished early and within budget. The bridge lost much of its daily traffic load when the first Washington segment of Interstate 5 opened in Tacoma in December 1960, but it has remained an important commercial arterial, linking Fife to Tacoma's industrial area and the facilities of the Port of Tacoma. In 2013, after more than 85 years of nearly trouble-free service, age and the elements were catching up with the Puyallup Avenue Bridge, and the City of Tacoma was well along with plans to replace 950 feet of the span on the Tacoma side of the river with a cable stay bridge.

 

Funding for this work was primarily split between two Federal grants, Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee (BRAC) and Surface Transportation Program (STP), to replace two sections of the bridge F16A and F16B along with a partial replacement of section F22.  No work is anticipated on the three sections spanning the river and running east. Augmenting the Federal funding were two State grants from the State Department of Commerce and the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board to replace these bridge sections.

Specifically project will replace the bridge sections required to span the BNSF and Union Pacific Main Lines through Tacoma.  The project will have a right of way component and design review by both railroads and the State.  The Puyallup River Bridge is on an arterial street consisting of four travel lanes with three currently crossing over the bridge. Construction of the bridge will impact traffic patterns in the area forcing traffic onto I-5 and Highway 509.


Unfortunately the design work for a cable stay bridge proved financially unviable in 2013 and required rethinking of the project in order to protect the federal grants acquired to replace the bridge.  In February 2016 an Alternative Assessment Workshop was completed with WSDOT and other agencies and professionals to determine if the project should move forward.  The Workshop determined that the project was of value to the area and the bridge should be replaced.  Following the workshop, the design-build procurement process was found to be the only way to secure the Federal funding prior to the December 2016 obligation deadline.

 

The design-build selection process started in November 2016 when the City opened the RFQ and scored the ten statements of qualification received. Then in January 2017 the City issued the RFP to the three finalists selected. The design-build teams submitted their preliminary designs for scoring in April 2017.  The submittals received represented three different steel and concrete girder bridge designs.  On April 18, 2017 the City opened the proposals received.  Atkinson Construction was found to be the best value proposer with a design of a continuous span precast concrete girder bridge replacing F16 A&B and all of the F22 span.

 

Currently the design team is updating the permits for the project to reflect the new design, finalize the design and complete the right-of-way (ROW) acquisition for the structure. The design, ROW, and permitting is anticipated to be complete by January 2018. Bridge demolition is expected to begin in March 2018 with the new structure being in place by 2019.

Links to Project Documents

Puyallup River Bridge Design Build Submitter's Meeting Sign-in Sheet - October 4, 2016

Alternatives Assessment Summary Report - February 2016

Puyallup River Bridge Plans - October 2013

Puyallup River Bridge Specs - October 2013

GeoTech Report - December 2010

GeoTech Report - June 2013

Proposed Railroad ROW Plan Page - June 2008

The data/designs/plans available on this website are provided on an As Is, As Available, and With All Faults basis. The City of Tacoma, its Department of Public Works, its officials and employees, hereinafter referred to as the "City" makes no warranty of any kind for this information, express or implied, including but not limited to any warranties of accuracy, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, nor shall the distribution of this information constitute any warranty.

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Funding

Source 

 Amount
 Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee - BRAC  $15,628,538
 Federal Funding - FHWA(STP)  $12,200,000
 Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board  $5,000,000
 Dept. of Commerce  $6,950,000
 Port of Tacoma  $500,000
 City of Tacoma  $1,607,505

 

Schedule

 

Phase Estimated Start Date Estimated End Date
RFQ for DB Teams September 2016 November 2016
RFP for DB Teams November 2016 June 2017
Design/Construction June 2017 December 2018
Estimated Construction March 2018 December 2018
Anticipated Opening January 2019  

 

Questions and Comments

The City of Tacoma is managing the project. Contact City Project Manager Chris Storey with questions or concerns at (253) 573-2484 or via email.