Work on a new bridge that will be installed as part of the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail project began July 26. The work is expected to be complete in mid-October.
The first phase of the work will result in a new bridge crossing connecting the City of Lakewood to University Place near Kobayashi Park. The bridge will provide a safe crossing point for trail users and prevent wading through the creek which causes environmental damage.
Work in the first bridge phase will include installation of a prefabricated bridge, bridge abutments, trail approaches and changes to reuse the existing roadbed on the south side of the stream. This is one of the first steps towards a vision of connecting a trail the length of the canyon.
The Chambers Creek Canyon Trail will be closed in the work area during construction hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. A gravel bypass trail will be installed around the construction area. This bypass will be open outside of work hours and on weekends. There may be additional trail closure areas and times in some sections during various stages of construction.
There will be on-site signage and coordination with the local jurisdictions to ensure safety and up-to-date information for trail users.
Preparation work started July 26, with an archeologist monitoring all excavation work and assessing the site to determine if there are any culturally relevant items for protection. Upcoming work includes clearing vegetation, installing erosion control devices and posting project signage.
Work continues in August as crews excavate the site in preparation to install the bridge foundations. The bridge and railings are expected to be installed in September.
Chambers Creek Canyon is a part of Chambers Creek Regional Park, which is jointly owned by Pierce County and the City of University Place.
In 2013, the cities of University Place and Lakewood, along with Pierce County, held a public open house to gauge interest in creating a trail through the canyon. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so a draft trail implementation plan was created.
In 2015, an interlocal agreement was adopted to guide the planning, design and permitting work on this project and to provide for collaboration in seeking grants and other funding sources. In 2016, preliminary engineering work was completed, and cost estimates were established. Multiple grants are funding current efforts to complete the trail, bridge and boardwalk designs and implementation with construction.
For more information on the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail Project, including a map showing where bridge work will occur, visit the Pierce County Parks Chambers Creek Canyon Trail Project website. Sign up for email updates about this project here.
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Emmi Buck, public information specialist