Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Public Works Director Brian Ziegler and Councilman Jim McCune joined Steve Gorchester, Executive Director of the Transportation Improvement Board (Washington State) for the ceremony. 176th residents Shirley and Abe Adams helped cut the ribbon. The Adams live near B Street on 176th. They had an accident coming out of their driveway and Shirley had to be brought back to life a few years ago. They are celebrating the new improvements.
The signal in the eastbound direction on 224th Street East now includes a flashing yellow arrow, which allows motorists to turn left through the intersection if there are adequate gaps between oncoming vehicles. The addition of the flashing yellow arrow improves the capacity of the intersection, while allowing flexibility for drivers to continue making a left-hand turn during the flashing yellow arrow portion of the signal.
“While we have been trying out flashing yellow arrows at various locations over the past year, this signal configuration is different in that the flashing yellow arrow and solid yellow arrow share the middle section in a three-section signal head,” said Rory Grindley, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities traffic engineer. “The new configuration was recently permitted for use on a trial basis by the Federal Highway Administration, and Pierce County is one of the first in the state to have received formal permission to install it.”
The typical flashing yellow arrow is located between the solid yellow light and the green light in a four-section traffic signal head.
This change is the latest in a series of minor safety improvements Pierce County has completed at the intersection, which also include restriping the west leg of the intersection to add an eastbound left-turn pocket.
Pierce County previously installed flashing yellow arrow traffic signals at Gem Heights Drive East and 184th Street East, 94th Avenue East and 136th Street East, and Woodland Avenue East and 128th Street East.
Government officials are inviting Pierce County residents to celebrate the completion of a series of projects along the 176th Street East corridor between B Street East and State Route 161 with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 10.
The ceremony kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at the Central Pierce Fire & Rescue Station No. 60, 17520 22nd Ave. E in Tacoma.
Up to 25,000 vehicles per day travel the176th Street East corridor near the intersection of 176th Street East and Canyon Road East. In 1989, the traffic count was about 8,000 at that same location.
Crews completed the corridor in six major segments that spanned more than 6 miles. Over the years, the county widened portions of the roadway to add additional lanes, installed new lights and traffic signals, and added sections of sidewalks and medians, among other improvements.
“The improvements will increase capacity, relieve traffic congestion, aid the movement of freight and goods, and contribute to public safety by adding sidewalks, lighting and traffic signals,” said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities director. “We are pleased with the results of 18 years of effort by our employees, partners and contractors.”
Design work on the corridor began in 1996, while construction began in 2003. Major work on the final project – from B Street East to 14th Avenue East – is expected to be complete this winter, with some minor work expected through the early spring. Pierce County will also make final improvements to the intersection of 78th Avenue East and 176th Street East in 2015 after ongoing coordination with environmental regulatory agencies is complete.
The work on the completed projects cost a combined $71.2 million. Funding came from a combination of traffic impact fees, Transportation Improvement Board funds, County Road Funds, real estate excise taxes and bonds, and developer funds (State Environmental Policy Act mitigation contributions).
The 176th Street East corridor is one of several arterials around the county that has been upgraded to include curbs, gutters and sidewalks to allow expanded access for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Also, crews installed pervious concrete sidewalks and shoulders from B Street East to 14th Avenue East to reduce surface water runoff. This is the first time Pierce County has used pervious concrete on the shoulders of an arterial roadway.
The county also constructed a new railroad crossing bridge just west of Canyon Road East. Workers removed the old two-lane bridge and built the new bridge during a four-month road closure.
Finally, road workers added raised medians to the roadway to increase safety, control access to businesses, and improve traffic flow. The medians have a combination of drought tolerant plants and hardscape features, and also include depressed curbs to accommodate fire and aid vehicle cross over.
Ceremony details Speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony include Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Councilmember Jim McCune of District 3, and Transportation Improvement Board Executive Director Steve Gorcester.
Remarks will be made inside the fire station, and the ribbon cutting will be held in front of the station along 176th Street East. Parking is limited at the fire station. Attendees are encouraged to carpool.
Pierce County will celebrate the completion of a new facility that processes roadside storm drain waste with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Pierce County Central Maintenance Facility, 4812 196th St. E in Spanaway.
The waste processing facility, which is located adjacent to the Central Maintenance Facility, will allow the county to separate, process, reuse and dispose of liquid and solid waste generated when county road crews clean catch basins, ditches and drainage pipes located in unincorporated Pierce County. The facility, which is expected to be completed in late November, has a footprint of approximately two-and-a-half acres.
Speakers at the ceremony include Deputy Executive Kevin Phelps; Pierce County Councilmember Jim McCune of District 3; Brian Ziegler, Public Works and Utilities director; Bruce Wagner, Public Works and Utilities road operations manager; and Doug Howie, Washington State Department of Ecology engineer.
“This facility will increase our capacity for processing storm drain waste, and be more cost effective and efficient as it is located at the home base for most of our Road Operations staff,” Wagner said. “It is also in an area where most of our storm drains are located.”
Storm drain waste will be transported from job sites back to the new facility in vactor trucks, which will be emptied into the facility and processed. The resulting processed water will be used to wash maintenance trucks, while the solid waste will be reused as a soil amendment or transported to a solid waste facility.
Road crews clean roadside storm drainage facilities six months of the year. Unincorporated Pierce County is home to approximately 21,700 catch basins, 1,200 miles of ditch, and 550 miles of drainage pipes.
General Mechanical, Inc. was the project contractor, and KPFF Consulting Engineers was the project engineer. Construction cost approximately $1.6 million, and was funded by a $750,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology and $837,914 in Pierce County Road Funds.
Just a quick reminder that the Washington State Transportation Commission would like to get your input on the future funding of our roads, bridges and ferries.
Please take this 12 minute survey by clicking on the link below. Start Survey
Thank you for taking time to share your views and helping to shape state decision making.
Chairman Washington State Transportation Commission http://wstc.wa.gov/
Pierce County is preparing now for winter weather on county roads.
Road operations crews from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities will spend Oct. 20 and 21 traveling their snow plow routes, setting up and recalibrating equipment, and reviewing the county’s Snow and Ice Response Plan in anticipation of winter weather.
“While mild weather is expected this winter, we will be ready to respond to snow and ice on county roads,” said Bruce Wagner, Public Works and Utilities road operations manager. “Residents can also prepare by making sure their car is in good working condition and putting together an emergency kit for their car that includes blankets, a flashlight, warm clothes and non-perishable foods.”
Residents can find suggestions for creating a three-to-seven day emergency kit for vehicles and winter driving tips at www.piercecountywa.org/winterwise.
About Pierce County snow and ice response
Pierce County maintains 3,150 lane miles of roadway in unincorporated Pierce County. Approximately 1,517 lane miles are identified as key arterial and lifeline routes that connect residential areas to service centers and state highways. The level of service these roads receive during winter weather is determined by several factors, including weather conditions, the classification of the roadway, and available resources.
“Our priorities during a snow and ice event are major arterials, lifeline emergency routes, access roads to highways and freeways, and Pierce Transit and school bus snow routes,” said Wagner. “If you can get out of your neighborhood and reach a key arterial during snow and ice events, you will likely find a drivable road.”
When a severe winter storm is forecast, Pierce County’s plan provides that crews apply anti-icing products to key arterials and lifelines routes assuming all resources are available. If heavy snowfall affects roads countywide, plow trucks with de-icing materials are deployed 24 hours a day when all resources are available until conditions improve.
The public can reach the Public Works and Utilities Road Operations Division 24 hours a day at (253) 798-6000 with requests for service. They may also fill out a Request for Action at www.piercecountywa.org/rfa.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Construction of the new Joint Base connector road and overpass project that links both segments of the joint base will enter the third phase of construction with the installation of twelve, 183-foot girders Tuesday evening.
Perimeter Road will be temporarily closed to local traffic between the intersections of 150th St. SW and Lincoln Road, and the intersection of Perimeter Road and Barnes Boulevard, beginning at 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, for 30-minute periods, as contractors begin installing the girders on overpass support pillars constructed during phase II.
The Joint Base connector project is entering the third of five phases and is on schedule to be completed in the Spring of 2015.
Joint Base connector road and overpass construction project by phases:
Phase I of the project consisted of clearing trees from the projected construction path.
Phase II consisted of the construction of overpass support pillars, which caused the closure of the South Gate Road and the McChord Field Commercial Vehicle Inspection Point (CVIP).
Phase III, installation of support girders on the overpass pillars is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2014. This will involve temporary lane closures on Perimeter Road and E. Lincoln Ave. for paving.
Phase IV, paving operations to connect the new road to Barnes Blvd., will be in the late Fall of 2014. There will be temporary lane closures on Barnes Blvd. with alternating one-direction of travel controlled by traffic flaggers. Detour signs will be setup in order to assist motorists around the closure areas.
The fifth and final phase of the project will occur during the winter months and consist of the finishing aspects of the project, such as curbing and lane striping. Project completion is set for the Spring of 2015.