It might be a year later than originally expected, but the Foothill Trail’s new pedestrian bridge will finally be breaking ground.
The ceremony, hosted by King County, the Foothills Rails to Trails coalition, and Tacoma-based construction company Ceccanti, Inc., will be Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. on the Buckley side (you’ll have to walk some of the trail to the river); parking is available near where the trail mets up with N River Ave.
The Courier-Herald reported that construction was hoped to begin last year, but the permitting process went longer than expected , which is why the groundbreaking was delayed until this month.
In total, construction will cost around $13.5 million.
Most of the budget, about $10 million, is covered by the King County Park Levy, but another $316,000 comes from the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition and Pierce County.
King County plans to maintain the bridge, which is expected to cost another $20,000 a year.
At the moment, the bridge is slated to be open to the public by mid-2024, in the spring or summer.
While most people are just happy to finally have a safe way to cross the river on foot or bike, the bridge can also be used by emergency vehicles to cross the river when traffic is congested — or worse, if the bridge is broken; Plateau residents may recall when the bridge was damaged in 2015, likely by an over-height load.
The bridge was closed to all traffic (except emergency vehicles) April 4, 2015, to April 11 for emergency repairs, and was closed again April 15, 2016, to April 23 for permanent repairs.