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Historic Water Ditch Trail Traffic Signals

Project Background

Originally, the Historic Water Ditch Trail was part of a 110-year-old trail system that crossed Tacoma and extended to Mt. Rainier. Remnants of the historic 1896 Water Ditch Trail are still used today.  

The City of Tacoma broke ground on Phase I of the project in 2008, which is now completed.  Phase I included rebuilding three miles of the historic trail to modern Class 1 bikeway standards, including a ten-foot wide asphalt path with two-foot wide crushed rock shoulders on each side. As more funding becomes available, the remaining project phases will restore the entire six-and-a-half mile trail which will provide the only trail linking South Tacoma with Downtown, the Tacoma Dome area, and the Thea Foss Waterway.

Project Update - November 25, 2013

On Sunday, September 29, 2013 from 11 AM to 3 PM, the City of Tacoma organized with the help of a “Downtown On the Go” consultant, the Water Ditch Trail Transportation Expo event. During this event many organizations and agencies were invited to attend and participate.

Project Description

Phase II of the Historic Water Ditch Trail project will construct a 1.8 mile pedestrian/bike trail anchored at both ends by parks.  The standard cross-section of the trail will be 12 feet of asphalt concrete with one-foot wide rock shoulders on each side. 

To improve safety, the project includes installation of two traffic signals at trail crossings with major arterials at South 56th and South 74th streets and three pedestrian/bike crossing flashers at South 54th, South 66th, and South 72nd streets.  The project also includes improved stormwater treatment/drainage, utility pole relocation, construction of ADA accessible curb ramps and rest landings, and pedestrian level lighting. The project will also provide pedestrian and bike amenities (bike racks, signage, trash receptacles, benches, and lighting).  An existing small parking lot will be converted to add trailhead elements at South 76th and Cedar streets.

The traffic signals and crossing flashers will be constructed before completing the trail paving for safety purposes.

Project Map



Task Amount

Planning and Design

Construction $774,351
Total Project Cost $1,129,077


Task Estimated Start Date Estimated End Date
Planning and Design August 2011 February 2013
Advertise February 2013 April 2013
Construction August 2013 April 2014

Be Informed, Get Involved

You can contact City Project Manager Said Seddiki (253) 591-5204, with questions, concerns or comments. You are also invited to contact Said to get email updates on public meetings, events, and notices.