Q&A on Traffic, Road Construction & Relief
Traffic in Fife and the surrounding areas is awful. There is no sugar coating it. We are receiving daily calls and e-mails asking what Fife is doing to make it better. We wish it were a simple fix, but construction is slow, lack of funding for large projects hampers development and an economic boom compound the complex issues that create the traffic jams in the South Sound. Fife Community Development Director Steve Friddle answers some common questions below:
Why is traffic so bad on Interstate 5?
In addition to growth, there are many construction projects happening, all which will eventually help, but currently add to the traffic congestion while under construction:
The net result is that our local streets get as congested as I-5. WSDOT will eventually finish their projects, but in the meantime, they’ll continue to make changes that will chase traffic onto Fife streets.
Why don’t we just build what we need?
Federal, State and regional funding lags or is insufficient to commence/complete large Interstate and alternative transportation projects. Fife is working with our regional partners on three additional large projects which are in the hopper:
What additional local projects are we working on that will help?
Because of Fife’s unique location inside the Puyallup Tribe’s Reservation, next to an international Port and intersected by an Interstate Freeway, any local project requires a huge inter-agency coordination component to make the following projects happen:
What does this all mean?
Again, we are very fortunate to live in a vibrant growing community and share the goal and expectation that we are always improving. This includes a long list of recent success stories delivering transportation projects by the State, Tacoma, Port and Fife that have lessen congestion and should be celebrated. However, from this planners perspective, these success stories lag well behind growth and are quickly forgotten as congestion worsens and solutions continue to get more difficult and costly.
I remain confident that the continued, concerted effort and creativity of our leaders, residents, business and all the regional partners will result in solutions. In the interim, continue to direct questions and ideas to me since I am one of several persons responsible for finding the solution to make the city function better again.
On 12th Street East, J.R. Hayes & Sons, Inc. is working for ProLogis, Inc. to widen and improve the street between 46th Street East and 54th Avenue East. During the week of August 21, Hayes will be installing a new 6-foot diameter culvert to carry the Fife Ditch under 12th Street, in line with 52nd Avenue East. In order to install this large culvert and to complete other work in the right-of-way, 12th Street East will be closed between 46th Avenue East and 54th Avenue East, except for local access, between 46th and 54th Avenues East. Hayes plans to pave this segment of 12th Street East on August 28, and to open the street to traffic before the Labor Day weekend.
On Freeman Road East, Scotty’s General Construction, Inc. is working for Benaroya Companies to smooth curves and grades and to widen and improve the road between 20th and 26th Streets East. Scotty’s has fallen behind schedule as it has taken longer than expected to convert overhead utilities to underground. While Scotty’s had previously announced that they planned to reopen the street to public traffic before Labor Day, they now anticipate reopening in mid-September.
Note that both streets are likely to be closed for a period after paving and before opening for traffic. The time between paving and opening will be used by both contractors to raise castings, install illumination, street trees, and pavement markings, and otherwise prepare the streets for traffic. This period is expected to last for several days for 12th Street East and over a week for Freeman Road East. The Freeman road segment will take longer because, in addition to the features that it shares with 12th Street, guard rail will also be installed along a portion of Freeman Road after paving and before opening.
Hooray! A full service grocery store will be built at the corner of 70th and 20th.
The Fife City Council authorized a Sales Agreement that will result in a full service grocery store on surplus City property located at the southwest corner of 70th Ave. E and 20th Street East.
The Agreement with and Jeffrey E. Davis, with Davis Development Services, LLC states the store will be approximately 11,000 square feet and will sell meat, fresh produce, dairy, frozen foods and other miscellaneous foods and sundries found in standard grocery stores of similar size.
The City of Fife issued a Request for Proposal and Mr. Davis responded proposing two commercial buildings. The first building is a retail store consisting of 20,200 square feet, with at least 11,000 square feet full service grocery store along with other associated and compatible allowed retail uses. It is a two story concrete tilt-up commercial building fronting on 20th Avenue East.
The second building will consist of an one-story, approximately 48,000 square foot, concrete tilt-up building for production, warehouse, distribution, wholesale and limited retail fronting on 70th Street East.
The sale is contingent on Mr. Davis obtaining permits for development and construction in compliance with all codes substantially as shown in the site plan and schematic above.
For more information, contact Steve Friddle, Fife’s Community Development Director by email at email@example.com or by phone at (253) 778-3484.
Hyun Kim was appointed to the City Manager position by Fife City Council at their regular meeting on August 15. Kim will serve as Fife’s top appointed official beginning September 13, leading the City in the day-to-day operations and assisting City Council and staff in shaping several major policy issues. Current Fife City Manager Subir Mukerjee is set to retire on September 12.
Kim was most recently the Finance Director for the City of Boulder City, Nevada. Prior to joining Boulder City in 2016, he served for four years as the Town Administrator for Afton, Wyoming. His local government career began in 2012 with the Town of Pinedale, Wyoming serving as the Community Development Director. He received his Executive Masters of Public Administration from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and has a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Strategy from Western Governors University.
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Levee Road Revision