Fife Road Improvement Projects


It’s no secret that traffic in Fife is challenging. So, what are we doing to make it better? Read on to find out. Remember- the inconvenience of construction is temporary, but the improvements will be permanent.

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Port of Tacoma Interchange Improvement Phase 1

Construction Start Date: June 2018
Anticipated End Date: 2021

Recent Updates: 

September 18-22, 2018

Ramp

Closure

Days

Hours

Detour

I-5 Southbound Port of Tacoma Road Off-ramp

Ramp Closure

Thursday

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

SB I-5 to 54th Ave E Exit onto SB 99 to Port of Tacoma Road

I-5 Southbound Port of Tacoma Road Off-ramp

Ramp Closure

Friday-Monday

11 p.m. Friday – 5 a.m. Monday

SB I-5 to 54th Ave E Exit onto SB 99 to Port of Tacoma Road

  • Port of Tacoma Road Project is well underway. We overspent the “clean-up of biohazards” line item by $30,000. We’re still well within our contingency, but that was the cost of cleaning up homeless camps, etc.
  • Beginning Wednesday, June 27:
    • 34th Avenue East will be reconfigured to One-Way Northbound.
    • 12th Street East will be reconfigured to One-Way Westbound.
    • This direction of traffic will be indefinite and part of the permanent traffic configuration. 


Project Overview:

  • Phase 1 of this project will modify the existing I-5 Southbound Off and On Ramps.
  • The new I-5 Southbound off-ramp will connect into a new 34th Street Extension to alleviate traffic congestion at Port of Tacoma Road.
  • A new configuration of the I-5/POTR ramps will improve I-5 mainline operation.
  • Traffic queue lengths will be reduced from thousands of feet to only hundreds

What to Expect:

  • As construction progresses, varying lane, ramp and road closures should be expected. All closures will be noticed on our website and social media by Friday the week prior.

SR 99/54th Avenue Improvements


Construction Start Date: May 2018
Anticipated End Date: Late Summer/Fall 2019

Project Overview:

  • Double left turn lanes will be added on Pacific Highway (SR 99) at the 54th Avenue Interchange.
  • New pedestrian and roadway lighting, pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, street trees, curbs and gutters will be added.
  • Enhanced stormwater treatment (less flooding) will be added.

Recent Updates:

  • SR 99 is well underway, and the contractor is wrapping up installation of the joint utility trench for electrical and communications utilities on the east half of the project. The contractor will move to the west, near 54th in a few more weeks
  • Contractor working hours are Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Expect Right Lane to be closed during working hours

  • Contractor will be clearing and grubbing along removal of pavements and Sidewalks over the next few weeks.

What to Expect:

  • Lane closures and traffic delays should be expected.

Pacific Highway Preservation Project

Construction Start Date: July 2018
Anticipated End Date: Fall 2018

Project Overview:

  • Provide one uniform road surface and correct areas of poor subgrade by overlaying the current road from POTR to Milwaukee Avenue East.
  • Curb ramps will be assessed for ADA compliance and reconstructed as needed.
  • Storm frame grates will be assessed for wear and replaced as needed.

Recent Updates:

  • Bid package is being prepared.

What to Expect:

  • Varying lane closures should be expected on Pacific Highway west.

Other Projects Impacting Fife

  • Puyallup River Bridge Closure
    • Complete bridge closure: May 21, 2018 – February, 2019
    • Managing Entity: City of Tacoma
    • Project Website
  • Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Lane Construction
    • Adds HOV lanes from Everett to Gig Harbor
    • Managing Entity: WSDOT
    • Project Website
  • SR 167 Extension
    • Construction on Phase I to begin in 2019
    • Managing Entity: WSDOT
    • Project Website
  • Tacoma Dome Link Extension Project
    • Adding light rail from Seattle to Tacoma
    • Managing Entity: Sound Transit
    • Project Website

Artist Lecture Series

The Fife Public Arts Commission presents a two-part Artist Lecture Series with author Larry Krackle and Recording Artist Michael Powers. Attendance and parking are free!

Larry Krackle
Larry will regale the audience with his humorous outdoor adventure stories and perform a reading from one of his many books.

11/8   7 p.m. Dacca Barn


Michael Powers
Michael will perform and talk about integrity within the business of marketing and selling your artwork. He’ll explore the eternal balancing act between art & commerce.


11/19  7 p.m.   Dacca Barn

Fife Halloween Carnival

Tricks, treats and treasures await your whole family at the annual Fife Police Department Halloween Carnival. Free flashlights, goody bags and more for every little pumpkin.

Free admission with one can of non-perishable food.
Date: Wednesday, October 31st
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Columbia Junior High (2901 54th Ave E)

Meet the Chief

Police Chief Fisher invites you to chat with him on issues that you care about. This is our opportunity to open the dialogue between residents and the Fife Police Department, learn more about our goals as a community and answer any questions you may have. The event is open-house style, so drop by anytime between 5–7 p.m. to chat. Families are welcomed and encouraged.

What: Meet the Chief
Date: October 30th
Where: Dacca Barn (2820 54th Ave E)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

Fife Magazine- Fall Edition

Download your copy today!

The Fall Activity Guide is here!

The Fife Fall Activity Guide is now online! Check out all the upcoming events and activities to do this season.

Keep things flowing!

Our sewer system needs your help.

We are experiencing problems with the build-up of fats, oils and grease (FOGs) in our sewer pump stations. All efforts to reduce FOGs from going down the drain are encouraged. 

You can help prevent costly and unsanitary overflows by following a few simple steps:
  • Pour cooking oils and scrape grease into non-recyclable containers and dispose of them in the garbage. Do not pour FOGs down the drain.
  • Dry wipe all pots and dishes. Use a paper towel to remove greasy leftovers from pots and dishes prior to washing in the sink or dishwasher.
  • Place a trash basket in the bathroom to dispose of solid waste. Disposable diapers, personal hygiene products and wipes of any kind (even the “flushable” kind) do not belong in the sewer system.
It takes all of us working together to help protect and preserve our sewer system and the environment.

Download and print this handy guide:

Traffic in Fife

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:

  • WSDOT HOV construction on I-5: I-5 South project will gear up soon while N. Bound is still far from completion.
  • Frequent lane realignments are all unfamiliar. Shortly after Independence Day, WSDOT is going to split I-5 southbound into through and local lanes just south of the Port of Tacoma Road. We hope that this helps and not hinder backups. Watch a video on the change. 
  • Cell phone usage both distracts drivers and now that nearly everyone has a cell phone, drivers receive suggestions from “Apps” to hop off I-5 and look for alternate routes through Fife.
  • Slow downs/back-ups: Increasingly, commuters from Seattle to Tacoma get off in Federal Way and cut down through Norpoint Way to Marine View Drive. Others cut through 70th to 12th, etc. 
  • Summer construction at the Port required closing portions of 12th St E and businesses along 54th Ave E will be impacted by nighttime 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:

  • Port of Tacoma I-5 Interchange: Fife is lead and will soon bid and start construction on a two-phase Port of Tacoma Interchange reconfiguration that will make the flow off I-5 and to the Port much easier.
  • SR-167: The State is lead on SR-167 Gateway expansion, which was envisioned in the early 1960’s, received approved funding in 2015 and construction is projected to be completed in 2031 (that totals nearly 70-years).
  • Light Rail: Sound Transit is lead on extending Light Rail (approximately $2B) from Federal Way through Fife to Tacoma Dome.  The completion sometime between  2026 – 2033 will assist commuters and the Fife Station will provide a cornerstone for the new city center.

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: 

  1. Relocate existing I-5 ramps at 54th to the east and to the west creating capacity, removing conflicting 54th Avenue traffic movements and provide easier turning movements.
  2. Construction of a new 2nd St East (intersection at Taylor Way) including the extension of 2nd Street East to 55th Avenue East. This new intersection and street would provide another option for residential traffic entering the 54th/Taylor Way arterial.
  3. There are several additional safety and capacity projects that we are working on locally (example: additional turn lanes, sidewalks along Pacific Highway among many others).

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.



Steve Friddle
Community Development Director
(253) 896-8633
sfriddle@cityoffife.org

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Emergency Lahar Drill Information

On the first Monday of each month at noon, Pierce County Emergency Management will test the 17 outdoor lahar warning sirens in the Puyallup River Valley.

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