Final design is underway for construction of the Pacific Avenue-to-Waterfront segment of the Prairie Line Trail. For up to date information, visit the Public Works Construction Projects page.
Status - Final Conceptual Design Approved
On June 4, 2013, the City Council reviewed the final conceptual design for the Prairie Line Trail and provided staff with direction to take the design forward. The next steps will include schematic/engineering design work, as well as pursuit of funding to construct the project.
Presentation and Open House
On Thursday, March 14, 2013, the City hosted a well-attended presentation and open house on the conceptual design for the Prairie Line Trail. The event was held at Tacoma Art Museum, Murray Family Event Space. The presentation is available here:
The City of Tacoma is engaged in a public planning and design process for the Prairie Line corridor, a conversion of the former Prairie Line rail corridor into a pedestrian/bicycle corridor and linear park through the heart of Downtown Tacoma. The City received a $465,000 grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council to fund the design and preliminary engineering of the trail. The public design process will run from June 2012 through the middle of 2013. Subsequently, the City will seek funding for construction, predicated on the successful conclusion of the land donation from Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) to the City.
Scope of Work
The project area is an approximately one-mile segment of the historic rail corridor, beginning at the south end of downtown, running through the Brewery District, University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) campus, crossing Tollefson Plaza and Pacific Avenue, running adjacent to the Tacoma Art Museum, and then arriving via the South 15th Street ramp at the Thea Foss waterfront. UWT is designing the trail through their campus (South 17th Street to South 21st Street). The City’s effort pertains to the segments to the north (Dock Street to 17th Street) and south (South 21st Street to South 25th Street) of the UWT campus.
The Prairie Line Trail is a significant opportunity for Tacoma. The rail corridor is historically significant as the first transcontinental railroad connection to the Puget Sound, which shaped the early development of the City. It’s conversion into a public space provides an exceptional opportunity to create a truly distinctive public asset. The Prairie Line is envisioned as a major economic development catalyst for the revitalization of the Historic Brewery District, a unifying feature connecting different districts of Downtown Tacoma, and a pedestrian/bicycle gateway to Downtown and the Foss Waterfront.
There are several ways to learn about and participate in the project. The schedule below provides dates for public workshops and meetings. City staff welcomes questions and comments at any time. This webpage will be regularly updated, and you can also request to receive regular email updates as the project moves forward.
In addition, the City is actively engaging with stakeholders and adjacent landowners. The City has convened a stakeholders group to guide the design process. We are also reaching out to property owners along the corridor, in recognition of their unique stake in the project. Planning and design will be coordinated with the design of the UWT segment of the trail; the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Design; the Tacoma Art Museum’s Plaza redesign; the City’s South Downtown Subarea Plan; and, other efforts.
Prairie Line Trail Planning and Design: 2012-2013
Public Workshops and Council Dates:
South 21st Street Crossing
The crossing at South 21st Street is challenging due to the traffic volumes, grades, site lines for vehicles, and other factors. With the Prairie Line Trail and the growth of UWT campus and the Brewery District, it is especially important to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and comfort. To that end, in 2012 the City conducted analysis of alternatives for enhancing the crossing, and conducted extensive outreach with the public and stakeholders. The City has now selected a phased approach for enhancing pedestrian and bicycle crossing at South 21st Street. This approach is summarized in the presentations linked below.