Port of Tacoma (Wash.) commissioners on Thursday, July 16, approved a $21.8 million contract to build the final piece of the Lincoln Avenue Grade Separation, a freight transportation project that includes an overpass to carry trucks and other vehicles over busy rail lines in the Tacoma Tideflats area.
The 2,200-foot-long overpass will add three lanes of roadway over four sets of railroad tracks. According to the port, truck queues at the current at-grade crossing can last up to 45 minutes behind trains serving its two main intermodal yards.
The port says it has completed three surface streets and relocated utilities to support the overall project. The final piece, the overpass itself, remained unfunded until the port received $15.4 million in March from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The $53.2 million project has received funding since 2002 from several local, state and federal sources. The port expects to pay about $17.9 million of the total.
“This project has been a long time in coming, with a lot of hard work from a lot of people,” says Dick Marzano, port commissioner. “We could not have done this without the help of our outlying communities, We appreciate their partnership.”
Construction is expected to begin in August or early September. According to the port, economists estimate the project will create about 200 jobs during construction and another 1,500 permanent jobs through efficiency and additional capacity when it’s completed in 2011.