Monday, August 24, 2009

Sound Transit Plans - The Wall Under 705

Here's what Sound Transit is currently planning to do under the 705 bridge in the Dome District of Tacoma. Click each picture to see in a larger size, click back button to return to article. The last drawing is what it might look like if Post and Beam elevated construction and design is used.

Picture showing the area under 705.

Drawing of the 375' retaining wall Sound Transit is planning to build.
Wall is to keep the berm dirt off of the 705 Freeway bridge structure. Notice how the berm/wall blocks the view from 25th, to the right, to the track-to-the-mountain and up the ravine. The wall exacerbates the berm problems, by creating a hiding place and wall for grafitti.

Sound Transit drawing on their plans.

Drawing showing Post and Beam construction design. Notice how the view from 25th, to the right under the tracks, is maintained. as well as the access to the two stairways leading to 26th and the Community Health Bldg. This area will never be built on, so we as a community need to be able keep an eye on it.


Learn more about this important project on Wednesday, August 26th. We're having an informational meeting located 402 East 26th Street, at 5:00 p.m. This an important meeting to attend because we want a large gathering to show public support and that concerned citizens care about what's being build in Tacoma. I hope that you will attend this meeting. The meeting will be short and you'll still have time to either other events on the same evening.

Did you see this weeks Tacoma Weekly? Look at the back page of the first section, for our adv. Also The News Tribune had several articles that last week, and they are worth reading.


  1. Personally, I like the fill/berm better. It'll keep the homeless out from under the pillars (not like they don't do that enough under I-705 anyways) and it'll be more attractive in the end. There isn't anything wrong with the TR Jct berm and looks fine.

    The people whom continue to hold up ST are only hurting the City of Tacoma and its future growth but there is a reason why Tacoma is the slowest growing city in Washington State

  2. Brian, homeless people do not live or hang out under Post and Beam construction, they have a tendancy to go into areas where they cannot be seen.

    If a berm is created under I-705, the police will not have clear visibility into the area and there will be a hugh blind spot of some 350 feet.

    The lack of visability because of the berm will create a major safety issue for the community and for visitors to the Tacoma Dome and the future LeMay Museum.

    Most of the supporters of Post and Beam want elevated track because it just makes sense for the area and for the future of Tacoma. Our efforts are not meant to slow the project or to stop it, just to get it done right.

  3. Do It Right Tacoma:

    The berm will be visible from both sides (as there are streets on both sides). No blind spot would be created. Homeless certainly do live and hang out under post and beam construction - one of the most common places to see homeless people sleeping in Seattle is under the Beacon Ave. S. ramp leading to Holgate. It's not about visibility, it's about staying dry.

    The LeMay Museum would not be visible from this area at all, with either option. There's no difference.

    Visitors to the Tacoma Dome would not have a different route or different view than they have now.

    What concerns me most here is that it seems like there's a basic idea here, but because that idea doesn't get traction, the facts are being changed to fit the ideology.

  4. I would be more than happy to go and take pictures today of the homeless under I-705 just to make my point clear. It's no different than the Viaduct, the elevated sections of I-5 and I-90. They all have homeless living under them. It may be one or could be as many as 30.

    The berm is needed. Also, in terms of liquaication, this did not happen on the berm from BNSF's TR Jct to L Street.

    I should also remind you that from L Street to E L Street is also a berm which has been there for over 100 years. Its been used on the Milwaukee Road, Tacoma Eastern, Tacoma Belt line, Tacoma Rail... etc, etc... If it were to "liquify" it would have done so many years ago with the more severe earthquakes.

  5. Brian, if you go out to take pictures please be careful and take three or four other people with you, perhaps a large dog and for sure a cell phone in case you need to call for help. It's not really a good idea, homeless people do not want to be photographed or seen.

    A better option is to drive along East 25th under I-705. Notice how much visibility there is and how easy it is to see under the East 26th Street bridge and up the I-705 corridor. If a berm is build, you will not have this view from 25th.

    For safety reasons and I'm sure that most police officers would agree, it is best to keep the visibility as open as possible so the police can easily see what's going on.

    Soil in the area is an issue, it will be very costly to remove the old soil and replace it with the required new soil and fill in order to create a berm.