A major renovation of Owen Beach will begin this year in mid-February. Construction is expected to last approximately a year as the popular waterfront destination undergoes $4 million in site improvements.
After a half-century in service, some of the current facilities are due for replacement. Worn out drainage systems from structures that were built in the 1950s often flood the lawn, as an example. The community has identified a host of other needed improvements through the planning process known as Destination Point Defiance.
In addition to a new restroom building, picnic pavilion and children’s play area, construction updates are designed to improve traffic flow, parking, and recreational spaces. The updated design includes repositioning the lawn, relocating pathways and moving the parking lot inland a bit, based on historic data and current projections for sea level rise in the coming decades. More details, including renderings, are available here.
Metro Parks partnered with Washington Sea Grant (WSG) in the planning process for the Owen Beach improvements. Based at the University of Washington, WSG has conducted marine research projects for nearly 50 years. Data projections based on its research indicate the potential for Owen Beach buildings and parking in their current locations to be affected by rising seas as early as mid-century.
“Most of the facilities at Owen Beach were originally developed a half-century ago. It just makes sense to give thoughtful consideration to the latest research and to do all we can to protect the updated amenities we are building,” said Marty Stump, the park district’s chief of planning and development. “Our goal is to make sure the investments we make today continue serving our community 50 years from now and beyond.”
In order to safely complete the project, all of Owen Beach, including its entry and exit roads, stairs, parking, beaches and the access point at the north end of the promenade will be closed to the public during construction.
Owen Beach, which makes up approximately 1,000 feet of Point Defiance Park’s 3-mile shoreline, offers incredible views and wildlife experiences. This area of the park will continue to be accessible both by car from the park’s scenic Five Mile Drive or by walking the park’s scenic waterfront promenade from the Boathouse Marina when it reopens in 2022.
Project updates will be posted regularly at DestinationPointDefiance.org.
The post Improvements at Owen Beach to get started in February appeared first on Metro Parks Tacoma.