An important milestone for the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail project has been reached with the installation of a new bridge. The bridge is expected to open to the public in mid-November once the bridge railings have been installed and other minor work is complete.
Part of phase one of the project, the new bridge crossing connects the City of Lakewood to University Place near Kobayashi Park. It provides a safe crossing point for trail users and prevents environmental damage caused by wading through the creek.
“After years of dreaming and planning for this connection, we are thankful to see this bridge completed. A trail connecting University Place, Lakewood, and Pierce County Chambers Creek properties to Chambers Bay is a 25-year vision in the making,” said Gary Cooper, City of University Place director of Public Works, Parks & Facilities.
“It is amazing what we can get done when local communities work together. This project has been a great team effort,” said Mary Dodsworth, director of Lakewood Parks, Recreation and Community Services.
The installation of the bridge takes the project closer towards the vision of a trail connecting through the length of the canyon. The remaining work after the bridge installation consists of cleaning up temporary work impacts including restoring the disturbed area with native vegetation and mulching.
$150,000 in federal grant funding from the Washington Recreational and Conservation Office’s Recreation Trails Program (RCO) is being used to support this project. The RCO funds support the rehabilitation and maintenance of trails that provide users an opportunity to experience nature.
“We are thankful for this successful partnership and happy to provide residents a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy our native forests and streams,” said Kimberly Freeman, resource stewardship superintendent, Pierce County Parks.
Until work is completed, a portion of the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail will remain closed in the work area during construction hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Trail users may use the gravel bypass trail which is open outside of work hours and on weekends. On-site signage and coordination with the local jurisdictions will continue to ensure safety and up-to-date information for trail users.
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 resulting in overwhelming support for a trail through the canyon.
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. In July of 2021, work began on the now-completed bridge that is part of phase one of the project.
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.
Libby Catalinich, Pierce County Communications Director
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