New Rhodes Lake Road East - SR 162 to Falling Water Blvd (Various CRP's)
A project that would provide a second connection from Orting and SR 162 to Tehaleh and Bonney Lake is in the works by Tehaleh developer Brookfield Properties and KPFF, a design engineering consultant, in collaboration with Pierce County. The new connection is required for future phases of the Tehaleh development.
The project – which would include a new road between SR 162 and the Tehaleh development as well as extend another road to the current end of Falling Water Boulevard East – would provide motorists with an alternative to Rhodes Lake Road East.
Rhodes Lake Road East is not designed to accommodate the higher volumes of traffic associated with the new residential and employment growth that is planned to occur on the Bonney Lake Plateau.
This new roadway was formally established by the Pierce County Council in Ordinance 2008-28s in June 2008.
128th Street East Segment (CRP 5842): 128th Street East from SR 162 to the Puyallup River would be widened to two lanes in each direction with a two-way left turn lane from SR 162 to the bridge.
Puyallup River Bridge (BR#7195-A) Segment (CRP 5843): A new bridge with two westbound lanes would be built
over the Puyallup River. The bridge would be parallel to the existing bridge, which would offer two eastbound lanes.
Tehaleh Boulevard Segment (CRP 5731): A new four-lane road with two lanes in each direction (and an uphill truck climbing lane) would be built from the bridge to a new intersection with the extension of Falling Water Boulevard East.
Falling Water Boulevard Extension Segment (CRP 5841): A new two-lane road with one lane in each direction would be built from the new intersection to the current end of Falling Water Boulevard East.
CRP 5731 Right-Of-Way Plans
The bridge segment and the two new road segments are in final engineering. Acquisition for right-of-way needs are underway.
A Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) project to install a new roundabout at the SR 162 and 128th Street East intersection to mitigate traffic impacts on SR 162 from the Tehaleh development is going through WSDOT's process for review. Property rights needed for the new roundabout will be negotiated and purchased by WSDOT.
On June 24, 2008, the Pierce County Council passed Ordinance No. 2008-28s establishing a new arterial corridor from the east limit of 128th Street East to Falling Water Boulevard East. The purpose of the new arterial corridor is to improve east-west mobility in the plateau area south of Bonney Lake and east of the Puyallup River (referred to as the Orting Plateau). View documentation from the Corridor Study
In May 2018, Pierce County completed a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the New Rhodes Lake Road East Project. The EIS identified unavoidable impacts to floodplains in the project area and conditions the project to comply with Pierce County floodplain development regulations. Since the completion of the EIS, the project design has advanced to comply with these regulations.
The EIS requires the project to cause no additional flood impacts (in flood elevation or area) to private properties. Fill placed in the floodplain to build the new road would act as a dam during major floods causing water up-river to rise (see figures above showing project without culverts and the number of properties impacted upstream). Many of these up-river properties currently flood during heavy rains; however, the project cannot make the flooding worse than it already is. To reduce the number of properties potentially impacted by additional flooding caused by the project, two large culverts would be installed under the roadway (see figure).
These culverts would allow floodwater to pass under the new roadway which would eliminate most flood impacts up-river. During floods, water would pass through these culverts and cause additional flooding on down-river properties. Due to the sheer size and severity of flooding along this reach of the Puyallup River, it is not possible to build the project and not cause additional flooding to private properties. The design team examined multiple alternatives to minimize flooding, including an option that does not place fill in the floodplain. They have determined that acquisition of properties down-river is the best alternative because it minimizes impacts to private properties and project cost.