Sumner-Tapps Highway Construction Work 2021

Overhead image of existing Sumner-Tapps Highway with lines overlaid showing new channelization of lanes.

Its going to be a busy 2021 on Sumner-Tapps Highway! There are four separate projects or events scheduled for 2021, and this is the place to keep track of project progress, upcoming traffic warnings, and corridor concerns. The City of Sumner has lined up two major roadway preservation projects that utilize federal funds. And there's a utility project. And a major detour weekend too? No work at the 64th Intersection, but that is a bigger project that is in preliminary design right now. There's still a large funding gap to build those improvements, but we're positioning the project for federal grant opportunities. You can find out more about that project here:https://connects.sumnerwa.gov/166th-410_interchange

Project One: Resurfacing

The resurfacing project will remove the top inch of existing roadway asphalt and replace it with two additional inches. This occurs from just north of the 64th Street intersection and runs all the way to Sumner City Limits. In addition to the new asphalt, the roadway will be modified from a 3-lane roadway with hill climb lane to a 2-lane roadway. The new surface will have 6' shoulders and rumble strips to alert motorists that could be in danger of running off of the roadway or into oncoming traffic. Speed limits are currently being reviewed to determine if the 45 miles-per-hour limit is appropriate.

Project Two: Guardrail Replacement

Scheduled for later in the year, the guardrail replacement project will upgrade and replace the existing guardrail that has reached the end of its serviceable life. New guardrail at current design height will be extended with appropriate end treatments to protect motorists to today's improved roadside design standards.

Project Three: Pole Relocation

Kicking off in late spring and early summer, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be relocating some of their utility poles at our request to improve safety in the corridor. This is done at no cost to the City under a utility agreement. There are many utilities on those poles, so multiple utility companies will be involved in the work.

Project Four: NB SR 167 Weekend Detour

This summer, Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) will be closing northbound 167 for a weekend to complete some major bridge preservation work. We don't know which weekend yet. During that weekend, Sumner-Tapps Highway will be utilized as a passenger car detour route (Truck traffic will utiilize Traffic Avenue instead). It should be quite the weekend!

All of these projects will be working on close time-frames and could overlap, so City staff will be working hard to ensure that you are inconvenienced as little as possible. But, as with all road construction, there will be inconveniences. So follow the project in the email sign-up in the lower right of this page to keep up with the latest information!

Its going to be a busy 2021 on Sumner-Tapps Highway! There are four separate projects or events scheduled for 2021, and this is the place to keep track of project progress, upcoming traffic warnings, and corridor concerns. The City of Sumner has lined up two major roadway preservation projects that utilize federal funds. And there's a utility project. And a major detour weekend too? No work at the 64th Intersection, but that is a bigger project that is in preliminary design right now. There's still a large funding gap to build those improvements, but we're positioning the project for federal grant opportunities. You can find out more about that project here:https://connects.sumnerwa.gov/166th-410_interchange

Project One: Resurfacing

The resurfacing project will remove the top inch of existing roadway asphalt and replace it with two additional inches. This occurs from just north of the 64th Street intersection and runs all the way to Sumner City Limits. In addition to the new asphalt, the roadway will be modified from a 3-lane roadway with hill climb lane to a 2-lane roadway. The new surface will have 6' shoulders and rumble strips to alert motorists that could be in danger of running off of the roadway or into oncoming traffic. Speed limits are currently being reviewed to determine if the 45 miles-per-hour limit is appropriate.

Project Two: Guardrail Replacement

Scheduled for later in the year, the guardrail replacement project will upgrade and replace the existing guardrail that has reached the end of its serviceable life. New guardrail at current design height will be extended with appropriate end treatments to protect motorists to today's improved roadside design standards.

Project Three: Pole Relocation

Kicking off in late spring and early summer, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be relocating some of their utility poles at our request to improve safety in the corridor. This is done at no cost to the City under a utility agreement. There are many utilities on those poles, so multiple utility companies will be involved in the work.

Project Four: NB SR 167 Weekend Detour

This summer, Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) will be closing northbound 167 for a weekend to complete some major bridge preservation work. We don't know which weekend yet. During that weekend, Sumner-Tapps Highway will be utilized as a passenger car detour route (Truck traffic will utiilize Traffic Avenue instead). It should be quite the weekend!

All of these projects will be working on close time-frames and could overlap, so City staff will be working hard to ensure that you are inconvenienced as little as possible. But, as with all road construction, there will be inconveniences. So follow the project in the email sign-up in the lower right of this page to keep up with the latest information!

Please leave your comments here!

Do you have questions or concerns about the upcoming work?

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  • Why don’t you do a practice run? Close one lane for two weeks and see what kind of traffic this will cause. It will answer many questions as to what the effects it will have on 410 and the intersection and may put people at ease if it doesn’t cause too many issues. Pretty simple test that your citizens can be a part of.

    Edde asked 2 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  At the beginning of the analysis, there was a discussion of trying a practice run, if nothing else to get motorists used to a new experience on the corridor.  However, we were concerned about the temporary nature of the setup and whether drivers would be confused.  Plus, it would not be possible to evaluate the safety benefits in an experiment like this.  When the consultant evaluation was completed, it was clear that there would be a significant safety benefit and the decision was made to go forward.  But I appreciate your suggestion, and it definitely was a consideration!

  • Two lanes with no climbing lane, that is crazy people will die

    dans asked 3 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  We looked at the safety benefits very closely before making a decision to reconfigure the lanes.  We have had fatalities and serious injuries on the roadway in the past.  Our goal is to reduce the number and severity of crashes into the future. 

  • Why are they changing from 3 to 2 lanes?

    Lorian Maddox asked 2 days ago

    Thank you for your question.  There's a lot of information out on this web site discussing why this reconfiguration is a major safety benefit.  Take a look around, especially in the "Documents" section on the right side of the page, it has a lot of information regarding the safety benefits of the reconfiguration.  If you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to discuss.  Thanks.

  • Why would you reduce the lanes on Sumner Tapps HWY? It's tough enough as it is to get to Lake Tapps??? That's just crazy!

    KarenB asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  Feel free to review other responses and the posted safety evaluation memo for the reasoning for the reconfiguration.  

  • Why would you ever remove the hill climb lane? I travel up this road all the time with my boat and am going to feel terrible that I am doing 30mph blacking all traffic behind me.

    Justin asked 6 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  Feel feel to review the memo describing the safety benefits of the reconfiguration.  I'm sorry you feel terrible.  30 mph is a legal speed to drive on this segment of roadway.  While termed a "highway,"  Sumner-Tapps is a city street and then a county roadway, not a freeway.  There is no defined minimum speed.  

  • Single lane uphill on Sumner Tapps Highway?? Very dangerous

    JPH asked 6 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  Feel feel to review the memo describing the safety benefits of the reconfiguration.

  • Received via email to the City of Sumner: I am one of the residents on top of the hill, living on West Tapps Drive East. I have lived here since 1977. In 1978 I obtained employment with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, now Department. My last five years were spent in Traffic Division. I now teach fundamentals and advanced collision investigations for USDOT. This is just so you know my training and experience. One of the classes offered by USDOT-TSI is SMS (Safety Management Systems). In this part of the equation of safety is to mitigate out hazards by engineering if a hazard is known. Human nature we can not control, but physical aspects of roadways we can control. The upper portion of the Sumner-Tapps, where the roadway transitions to one lane each way, is where the grade lessens and then approaches the traffic signal. The lane reduction is an argument made in a response to a citizen’s concern on Facebook about the redesign. There are numerous slow moving commercial vehicles traveling up the hill every day. These include mixers from Corliss Resources that travel at about 10 MPH or less. Human nature is such that some driver will become impatient with the CMV and will “pass in a no passing zone.” The driver may or may not get away with it. A head-on collision with a combined speed in excess of 70-80 MPH is not a “pretty sight.” My personal and professional opinion is more of a hazard is being created than will be eliminated.

    CityofSumner asked 6 days ago

    Thank you for your input. We agree, the significant grade with trucks will result in slow vehicles.  There are concerns for those motorists that will get impatient.  However, our consultant's analysis took unlawful driver behaviors into account when analyzing the corridor and still resulted in a significant crash reduction rate.   

    Other design elements that will be of a safety benefit include a larger 2' wide painted area between the two oncoming lanes, rumble strips on the centerline and white "fog" lines, and a minimum 6' wide shoulders. We are also looking forward to upgrading our guardrails and extending their length to meet current standards.  While a motorist may choose to make an illegal maneuver that threatens the safety of themselves and other community members, there will be awareness that the move is illegal via rumble strips.  The shoulders also provide a location for vehicles to pull into if they are having mechanical issues where there is no room today.

  • Received by email to the City of Sumner: Living on the hill I applaud the coming changes. I have laid in bed and heard the tow trucks drag twisted, crumbled metal onto their trucks after a fatality accident. Thank you and all involved in making these hard decisions.

    CityofSumner asked 6 days ago

    Thank you for your input. 

  • Unless you plan to ban heavy/slow trucks from going up that hill, I can't believe you are reducing it to two lanes. I agree that the left turn onto 162th needs to be made safer and potentially have a few pull-outs for breakdowns on the east side but having only two lanes all the way up makes no practical sense. This is a major thoroughfare and you are going to end up with more head-on collisions from people trying to pass slow moving vehicles. On paper it may look fine but in the real world this is completely impractical. Please reconsider this decision, even at this late stage!

    Linda Adye-Whitish asked 10 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  We agree and understand there will be slower traffic on this one-mile roadway segment that has had significant crashes over the years.  The reconfigured roadway will reduce the likelihood of crashes and crash severity.

  • Has anyone thought about the cement trucks and other big rigs pulling this hill at 10 miles an hour and causing a mile back up going up the hill? Because without a hill climb lane this is going to be terrible. I pass them daily going up this hill and this will just cause traffic all the time up hill

    Joe asked 10 days ago

    Thank you for your input.  We agree and understand there will be slower traffic on this one-mile roadway segment that has had significant crashes over the years.  The reconfigured roadway will reduce the likelihood of crashes and crash severity.