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Tacoma to Puyallup Trail Connection

The Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail Connection is an envisioned corridor between downtown Tacoma and downtown Puyallup for people walking & rolling that is physically separated from car traffic and safe for people of all ages and abilities.

Project Update (Summer 2021): The Washington State Legislature included $2.3 million in funding for the project (for preliminary engineering & environmental documentation), as well as $2.5 million for construction of Stage 1a/1b Segment 2 to facilitate a future connection to NE Tacoma. WSDOT will begin work on the PE and environmental documentation in fall 2021, which will include public outreach and engagement. Members of the project team created a project update and overview for the 2021 Pierce County Trails Conference, which can be viewed here.

Project Background
In 2016, the Puyallup Watershed Initiative’s Active Transportation Community of Interest conducted a study, The Tahoma to Tacoma Trail report, which explored the health, economic, and equity benefits of a completed trail from Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park to Mount Rainier.

This work spurred the support of a coalition of partners interested in getting the project built. Through grants from ScanDesign Foundation and the Russell Family Foundation, the coalition partners travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018 to research walking and biking facilities. Upon return, to continue the momentum to complete the Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail Connection, project partners reiterated their collective support for the project and funded a trail study.

In 2019, project partners undertook a Route Analysis Study with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to assess the feasibility of three potential routes to complete this crucial connection. Three potential alignments were assessed for safety, connections, accessibility, equity, environment and community fit, and cost, along with fatal flaws. The process included community feedback through public meetings with more than 100 in attendance, an active stakeholder group, and close coordination with other agencies and projects in the area.

In 2020, project partners selected a separated trail along the new SR 167 route as the highest priority connection. The next step for this preferred route is Preliminary Engineering and the coalition has once again come together to develop a legislative ask of $2.3 million to complete this next phase.

Project partners:

  • Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Puyallup Tribe of Indians
  • City of Puyallup
  • City of Fife
  • City of Tacoma
  • Pierce County
  • Metro Parks Tacoma
  • Port of Tacoma
  • Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation Community of Interest
  • Downtown On the Go
  • ForeverGreen Trails

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