SR 99 Puyallup River Bridge Replacement


City of Tacoma Public Works Department

Completion Date



Jacobs Engineering Group


Tacoma, Washington

Delivery Method




Contract Value

$30 million
aerial of newly constructed bridge
view of undulating rib gateway feature from the bridge deck

SR 99 Puyallup River Bridge Replacement included the demolition of two existing bridge spans and construction of a new, four-lane precast concrete girder bridge spans, featuring bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides. The bridge spans six railroad tracks and connects to Puyallup Street and Portland Avenue in the west and the Puyallup River Bridge in the east. The team installed an undulating weathering steel paraboloid, known as the "Gateway to Tacoma," which frames the city to the west and scenic river views to the east. There are 17 naturally weathered steel "ribs" across the railroad mainline for integrated railroad safety fencing included in this feature.

The construction strategy ensured the protection of wetlands, Puyallup Tribal land, and power lines while maintaining local roads, business access, and railroad schedules. Atkinson solved the difficult geotechnical soil conditions by designing drilled shaft bridge foundations and eliminated the need for ground improvements.

Work included a reverse launch demolition method to remove the existing steel truss bridge over the railroad tracks intact without closing the railroad mainline. This involved jacking up the truss, attaching a launching nose, sliding the bridge westward with Hillman rollers and skid beams, and safely demolishing it on-site. This strategy reduced the bridge closure duration to less than nine months, benefiting the community and Port of Tacoma freight mobility.