Friday, November 16, 2007

'D' St. Overpass Nears Completion

The 'D' St. overpass project--connecting Puyallup Ave. to Dock St. over the Burlington Northern rail right-of-way via a new bridge--is beginning to take its final shape.

The support columns are in place with the bridge deck on top. Half the soil earth walls have been constructed to meet the elevation of the bridge deck and the roadway surface is beginning to be placed on the southern approach from Puyallup Ave. Streetscape improvements have occurred along Puyallup Avenue, including new curbs, utilities, asphalt, sidewalks and trees. MidMountain Contractors, Inc. is currently creating traffic barriers for the overpass in the shape of tugboats to pay homage to the Thea Foss Waterway. Three overlooks will also be constructed to include interpretive panels that describe the history, geography and cultural richness of this area.

For the remaining months of this project, the contractor will work to open the first half of the overpass, two lanes of traffic going north and south, by the end of December or January. Once that has occurred, the contractor will begin final construction of the second half of the overpass, two more lanes, leading to completion.

Once completed, the $24.5 million project will separate train and motor vehicle traffic by raising the roadway over the railroad tracks. The overpass will provide for realignment of the railroad tracks to ease the curve around the end of the Thea Foss Waterway—allowing train traffic to move at a higher speed. Vehicle traffic, which includes trucks carrying freight, no longer will need to wait for the trains that presently close off 'D' St. to traffic. The project also will create a pedestrian connection between the Dome District and the Thea Foss Waterway esplanade and parks.

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