Lincoln Avenue Grade Separation
The Lincoln Avenue grade separation is open to traffic.
PHOTOS: Watch the overpass take shape at the Port's Flickr site.
The project raised Lincoln Avenue over key railroad tracks in the Port industrial area, removing the at-grade conflict between rail activities and heavy vehicular traffic.
Rail plays an essential role in moving freight quickly and efficiently in and out of the Port, with trains averaging 8,000 feet in length.
Lincoln Avenue is a major arterial, serving as the primary connector between Interstate 5 and the Port for a high number of trucks. Before the overpass was completed, rail switching operations and mainline trains cause vehicular delays of up to 30 minute every two hours.
Building the overpass
The final piece of the grade separation - the overpass itself - remained unfunded until the Port received $15.4 million in March 2009 from federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
Construction began in September 2009 and was completed in June 2011.
The grade separation significantly improves rail and road efficiency. It also enhances air quality. Trucks have direct access to APM Terminals, so they won't sit idling while trains pass.
From dockworkers in Tacoma to potato farmers in Eastern Washington, the Port is a center of regional economic activity. The grade separation aids in the flow of goods through the Port's South and North Intermodal Yards and APM Terminals.
Although local in nature, this project offers economic benefits for both Washington state and the nation. Tacoma is a gateway port, and much of the cargo moving through here is bound for inland markets such as Chicago and New York.
Federal STP grant funds*
Federal stimulus allocation
*Surface Transportation Program funds through the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)
Track the funds in the Lincoln Avenue project summary on Recovery.gov.