PCT staging lot updates - expect new traffic signs on SR 509

The Port of Tacoma and The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) share the community’s concerns about the lineup of trucks on State Route 509. The current backup results from driveway damage that rendered access to a truck queuing lot impassible. We are working with terminal operators, truckers, law enforcement and other public agencies to identify safe and effective traffic solutions as the situation evolves.

The NWSA built the truck queuing lot adjacent to the Pierce County Terminal (PCT) in 2016. This multimillion-dollar investment created space away from SR 509 where truckers could wait to enter the terminal.

After the Dec. 20 storm, we discovered a significant pavement depression at the entrance of the queuing lot, passing above Wapato Creek. Upon investigation, staff determined the cause of the depression to be a failing culvert, and though the culvert has not collapsed, a full replacement is necessary to prevent future driveway failures and preserve the waterway.

We are coordinating with permitting agencies at all levels to begin construction as quickly as possible. The current estimated completion timeframe is late March. In the meantime, we are working to secure alternative truck staging areas within the Tideflats, and is working with the terminal operator on efficiencies such as extended gate hours. In partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), informational signs will be installed along SR 509 to provide information to drivers and direction to truckers.

Thank you for your patience as we develop solutions to this issue. Please check back for updates.