Prairie Line Trail to receive grant money

An extension of UW Tacoma’s Prairie Line Trail, which was put on hold last year due to funding issues, will benefit from money approved by Puget Sound Regional Council.

In December, almost $17 million of federal transportation dollars was given to counties across the region, including King and Pierce County. Tacoma received the largest amount of the four Pierce County cities chosen, accepting over $2 million.  The grant is to fund pedestrian trail construction in each county.

Tacoma will use the money in large part to extend the Prairie Line Trail from campus to the Foss Waterway.

When the delay in UW Tacoma’s section of the trail was last reported in The Ledger, one of the obstacles slowing the progress was that construction bids on the project that were returned were all substantially more than the $2.4 million budgeted, according to Director of External Relations Mike Wark.

The project at that time was to be reviewed for ways to reduce its cost, and would be sent out for another round of bids in early 2014. It was hoped at the time the delays were announced that construction would begin in summer and the trail would tentatively be open for visitors by fall 2014.

Last October, the city of Tacoma had applied for a $1.92 million grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council to fund construction on the pedestrian trail from the Children’s Museum to the Tacoma Art Museum. This will be the extension of the trail outside of campus, and won’t affect funding or timelines for the portion of the trail that runs through campus.

Lakewood also received more than $150,000 for their trail project: the city will use the money to construct a trail from Bridgeport Way and Kendrick Street on 112th and 111th streets.

Sumner was granted almost $229,000 for a project design of a piece of trail from West Main Street to Puyallup Street along Fryar Avenue, said associate city engineer Ted Hill. After the design is completed, the city of Sumner will ask for more money to fund the construction.

Bonney Lake was awarded about $274,000 to help in part with the costs of design for a portion of the Fennel Creek Trail.

Facilities and special projects manager Gary Leaf told The News Tribune that the grant money will cover the cost for the design of the 1.5-mile piece of trail north of the Safe Routes Trail. Design is projected to cost around $342,000, and the city of Bonney Lake will have to pay for 20 percent of the cost.

More news about when progress on the Prairie Line Trail extension will begin will be available in the near future.