Local Information

Puget Sound Gateway Program launches with its first construction contract

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 14:00

Steve Fuchs, SR 167 completion project manager, (360) 357-2623 (Tumwater)
Chris Hoffman, Puget Sound Gateway Program communications, (206) 387-2050 (Seattle)

Construction of a wider 70th Avenue East Bridge over I-5 in Fife begins this fall

FIFE – Drivers who regularly experience congestion on the 70th Avenue East Bridge over Interstate 5 in Fife are one step closer to getting some much-needed relief.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced its intent to award a design-build contract to start construction on the State Route 167, 70th Avenue East Vicinity Bridge Replacement Project to Guy F. Atkinson Construction.

The 70th Avenue East Bridge Project is the first of six Puget Sound Gateway Program design-build projects to start construction. The Gateway Program is composed of two main projects: the SR 167 Completion Project in Pierce County and the SR 509 Completion Project in King County. These projects provide essential connections to the ports of Tacoma and Seattle and will help ensure people and goods move more reliably through the region.

Atkinson, of Renton, submitted the apparent best value proposal of $40.9 million to complete design and construction for the new 70th Avenue East Bridge.

"The 70th Avenue East Project gets the Gateway Program off the ground - it's really the first step toward completing two missing links in our highway system," said Craig Stone, Gateway Program administrator. "By the end of next year, we'll have three projects underway. It will be exciting to finally see the SR 167 and SR 509 projects being built."

Atkinson will replace the existing two-lane bridge with a new four-lane bridge over I-5, just south of its current location, to relieve daily congestion. The bridge is a popular route for trucks heading to the Port of Tacoma from the area's warehouse and industrial centers, which can create backups that last for several hours each day.

The new bridge will also include a 12-foot wide path for pedestrians and bicycles. Crews will also build a new roundabout at the 70th Avenue East/SR 99 intersection and construct several hundred feet of new trail and a new Interurban Trail parking lot. Crews expect to break ground in November.

The SR 167, 70th Avenue East Vicinity Bridge Replacement Project is scheduled to open to traffic by mid-2021. Relocating the bridge allows WSDOT to construct a new SR 167/I-5 interchange in Fife. The interchange is the first step toward completing the SR 167 corridor between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma. The stretch between I-5 and the Port of Tacoma is scheduled to open in 2026, and WSDOT expects to open SR 167 between Puyallup and I-5 in 2028. The SR 167 video provides a preview of what the project will look like when it opens.

By completing these corridors, the Puget Sound Gateway Program will enhance the state's economic competitiveness, both nationally and globally, by connecting the state's largest ports to key distribution centers in King and Pierce counties that serve eastern Washington and beyond.

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