City Manager's Weekly Bulletin May 17, 2024

Lakewood Manager’s Bulletin: May 17, 2024

Interlaaken Bridge closed indefinitely

A do not enter sign placed in front of the Interlaaken Bridge that closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic on May 17, 2024.

The Interlaaken Bridge is closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The closure will remain in place indefinitely.

The full closure is the result of analysis by a contracted structural engineering firm that identified a high rate of deterioration among wood beams that comprise the bridge structure. The city previously replaced some of the beams during past bridge maintenance. The city inspects the bridge on a routine basis.

The bridge will remain closed while the city reviews its options for how to proceed.

The public is asked to please obey all posted closure signs. Pedestrian traffic is not permitted. People found on the bridge are subject to enforcement action by police.

Read more.

Black bear captured in Lakewood

A Lakewood Police Officer helps a Fish & Wildlife officer with a tranquilized black bear in Lakewood in May 2024.

Did you hear about the young black bear that wandered into Lakewood earlier this week? The bear was spotted early Wednesday morning roaming through neighborhoods. Police were called and followed the bear from one tree to the next, making sure it remained safe and people stayed away. They called the state Department of Fish & Wildlife to respond.

Wildlife officers knew about a bear in the area and arrived to find it up a tree near 47th Ave SW and Lila Lane SW. They ultimately used a tranquilizer dart to safely remove the bear from the area. They guessed the bear was recently “kicked out” by its mother and was wandering to find food and a new home.

They carted the bear off to be released in the Cascade wilderness where it will hopefully find food and a new habitat.

Reminder to residents: While black bears are rare in our area, every now and then they do show up in Lakewood. To limit interactions with bears, don’t leave bird feeders, pet food or garbage outside – they love a free meal! Especially right now when bears are looking for food. Bring all these items inside until the bears find a good patch of berries to eat instead.

Join Mayor Whalen at the Community Coffehouse

Mayor Whalen's Community Coffeehouse May 21, 6 pm

The next Community Coffeehouse with Mayor Whalen is Tuesday, May 21 at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion at Fort Steilacoom Park.

The topic of this meeting is the Comprehensive Plan and the current update the city is making to this plan.

The comprehensive plan is responsible for outlining future growth and development strategies for the city. It is required by state law and must be updated regularly. This is the plan that is used to help determine where housing growth must occur and what areas of the city can support more development than others. While complicated, it is essential to the overall vision of how Lakewood will grow and change in the coming years.

Join Mayor Whalen, May 21 to learn more about the city’s vision for its future and how the Comprehensive Plan plays a vital role.

Save the date: Juneteenth Celebration

Save the Date: Juneteenth National Freedom Day 3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, 2024

In partnership with St. Joseph-St. John Episcopal Church, the City of Lakewood is supporting the organization’s Juneteenth Celebration by opening Lakewood City Hall for an afternoon of community celebration.

The event is Saturday, June 15, 2024 from 3-5 p.m. All are invited to attend and learn about Juneteenth and hear from local leaders. There will be speeches, performances, tables with information from community partners and a chance to come together and celebrate this significant date in our nation’s history.

Commute Trip Reduction program survey

Pierce County’s Commute Trip Reduction program is writing a 2025-2029 Commute Trip Reduction plan to address the types of commuter support strategies needed by the Pierce community to explore sustainable commute options. 

To prepare this plan, it wants to know whether the commuter services in your area provide adequate support to minimize your drive-alone trips, whether you are commuting to work or school, running errands, or visiting a friend. Provide feedback via the Online Open House today and be entered to win a $25 gift card!

If you would like to receive this information in another language, please call 253-798-3556.

Safe Sitter registration class now open

West Pierce Fire & Rescue is offering Safe Sitter babysitting classes over the summer to teach students ages 11-13 how to safely care for younger children. It is common this age group starts to stay home alone or watch younger siblings. Even if they are not babysitting outside the home, the skills they will learn in this course are very informative and useful. Students will learn how to run babysitting as a business, childcare skills, choking and CPR rescue, and basic first aid.

Two courses will be held in this summer. Each three-day class runs from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. each day and costs $45.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To complete the class, students must attend the entire time.

June 26-28: Station 20, 10928 Pacific Highway SW, Lakewood

July 10-12: Station 31, 3631 Drexler Drive W, University Place

Please visit the Safe Sitter page for more information.

Kids Fishing Event is Saturday

A line up of fishing poles with bobbers on them await children at the Lakewood Kids Fishing Event in Lakewood, WA.

Our annual Kids Fishing Event is happening on the shores of American Lake Saturday. Children will have a chance to learn all the basics around fishing: How to bait a hook, cast a reel and catch a big one!

Volunteers will be on hand to help clean the fish for those who want to take them home to eat.

This event is for people who registered in advance. All pre-registered participants get to take home their fishing poles and fish.

Help clean the South Sound Wildlife area

Join the Clover Park Rotary and other Lakewood service clubs at the South Sound Wildlife area from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday for a cleanup day.

Located on Phillips Road just across from Hudtloff middle school, this 100 Acre area is in the heart of Lakewood. It is open to the public for hiking, bird watching, dog walking and other uses consistent with a wildlife preserve.

Join friends and neighbors for half a day of making Lakewood a better place for everyone. For more information, contact Alan Billingsley at [email protected].

Register your student for the Youth Empowerment Summit

The Lakewood Youth Council is hosting a Youth Empowerment Summit on Saturday, May 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harrison Preparatory School.

This event is a great opportunity for Lakewood youth in grades 7-12 to come together to learn important life skills and engage in meaningful activities and conversations.

There will be free food, a Coffee Truck with free drinks, lawn and video games, door prizes, a photo booth and more.

Students will participate in breakout sessions and be part of a discussion on cultural wealth.

The event is free and open to any youth in Lakewood in grades 7-12. Pre-registration is required. Sign up today online.

Street Festival: Jazz Night & Car Show

Man seated in custom car holding up Fire Department Choice sign

We’re kicking off our summer event season with a Jazz Night & Car Show Saturday, June 1 at Colonial Plaza on Motor Avenue.

Join us from 4-7 p.m. for this free, family-friendly event.

Enjoy live music with TPC Jazz from 4-5 p.m., followed by Michael Powers from 5:30-7 p.m. There will be food trucks, vendors, community partner booths, roaming entertainment, kids activities and of course classic cars!

Trophies including “Special Choice” and “Best of Show” awards will be given, along with Mayor’s Choice, Police Chief’s Choice and Fire Chief’s Choice. The car show award ceremony is at 6:30 p.m.

Have a vehicle you want to enter? Day-of registration is encouraged.

Save the date: Lakewood Farmers Market opening day is June 4

A woman laughs as she talks to a customer at her flower stand at Lakewood Farmers Market.

We’re less than a month away from the opening day of the Lakewood Farmers Market.

The market returns June 4 and runs every Tuesday from 2-7 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park.

Stop by on opening day to check out this year’s vendors, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food options, enjoy live music and stop by the City of Lakewood booth to get free City of Lakewood SWAG.

New this year the market will host Pop Up Markets. These events highlight specific themes and vendors. This includes:

  • June 11: Veteran-owned businesses
  • June 18: Wellness/Sports-focused businesses
  • June 25: Minority-owned businesses
  • July 2: New businesses (opened in the last 18 months)
  • July 30: Women-owned businesses
  • Aug. 6: Kids’ Day at the Market (children up to age 16 can sell items at the market)
  • Aug. 13: Maker Fair (inventors, creators, educators, hobbyists are encouraged to inspire people with skill-building tutorials, hands-on projects, experiments and show and tell)
  • Aug. 20: South Sound First Nation organizations (tribal affiliations)
  • Aug. 27: Local artists

The Lakewood Farmers Market 2024 season runs every Tuesday* from June 4 to Sept. 17. (*There is no market July 16 or 23.)

Looking for summer camp? Head to Camp Create!

Register today for the City of Lakewood’s Camp Create. This day camp offers week-long fun for kids, including sports activities, LEGO building, arts and crafts, team games and field trips!


  • June 24-28
  • July 8-12
  • July 15-19
  • July 22-26
  • July 29-August 2
  • August 5-9
  • August 12-15

$149 per week (all inclusive) – payment plans accepted.

Register, please fill out the packet linked below and email to Cameron Fairfield, [email protected], or return in person to Lakewood City Hall. Copies of the registration are available at Lakewood City Hall at the front counter.

Camp Create Sign-Up Packed (PDF)

Council Corner: May 13, 2024 meeting recap

United Way of Pierce County Update. Dona Ponepinto, President and CEO of United Way Pierce County, provided an update to the Lakewood City Council on the operations of the nonprofit organization.

Joint Planning Commission meeting. The Lakewood Planning Commission joined the City Council for a joint meeting. The meeting included review of the commission’s 2024 work plan.

Review of Six-Year (2025-2030) Transportation Improvement Program. The City Council reviewed the proposed 6-Year Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP. The program spans 2025-2030. It identifies planned road improvements across the city and outlines available funding. The plan is required for the city to apply for grant funding. It also serves as the planning tool for future road improvement projects.

2024 Downtown Plan Biennial Review. The Lakewood City Council first adopted its Downtown Subarea Plan in 2018 after public outreach. The plan outlines future development opportunities within the city’s downtown area. It also outlines how the City Council wants to see the area grow and outlines where amenities like parks and opens paces can be added. In its review the City Council was asked to provide direction to the Lakewood Planning Commission on how to conduct its review of the plan.

2024 Station District Biennial Review. The Lakewood City Council adopted the Lakewood Station District Subarea Plan in 2021. The plan was developed to create a new pedestrian-oriented, high-density employment and residential district located within a half-a-mile from the Sounder Station. It encourages transit-oriented development and offers incentives for high-density housing. Part of the City Council’s review included consideration of a recommendation to extend the review period for the plan from the current every two years to every five years.

Watch the meeting.

What’s on deck. The Lakewood City Council will hold a regular meeting Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Tentative agenda items include:

  • Business Showcase: Emergency Food Network
  • Recognizing Ellie Wilson for her service to the Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board
  • Authorizing the execution of an agreement with Townzen and Associates, in the amount of $411,800, for contract review services related to the Western State Hospital project
  • Reappointing Jeff Cox to serve on the American Lake – Lake Management District No. 1 Advisory Committee through June 2, 2027
  • Appointing Alice Fong and reappointing Megan Dempsey and Kerri Pedrick to serve on the Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board through May 21, 2027
  • Public hearing: Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program
  • Ordinance adopting the 2024 Carry Forward Budget Adjustment
  • Reports by the City Manager: Abatement Program Update

How to attend: Attend in person at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW; Join via Zoom (or dial 253-215-8782 and enter meeting ID: 868 7263 2373), or watch live on the city’s YouTube channel.

Police Chief’s Corner

Police Chief's Corner

Each week Lakewood Police Chief Patrick D. Smith shares a summary that includes a look at total calls for service the Lakewood Police Department responded to for the prior week. The intent of the summary is to share a snapshot of how the department works to keep the community safe. To see quarterly statistical analysis, visit the Lakewood Police Department crime statistics page on the city website.

Weekly Summary, April 30-May 7, 2024

  • Calls for Service: 919
  • Arrests: 32
  • Violent Crime: 27
  • Property Crime: 54
  • Traffic Stops: 53
  • Collisions (reportable): 25

Weekly Summary, May 7-14, 2024

  • Calls for Service: 926
  • Arrests: 52
  • Violent Crime: 22
  • Property Crime: 56
  • Traffic Stops: 77
  • Collisions (reportable): 22

Sign up for Lakewood Alert

Lakewood Alert

The City of Lakewood uses an alert service to notify residents of important information. If there is an emergency in the city that requires public notification, we will use Lakewood Alert as one way to communicate. We will also post information to our website and social media channels.

Subscribers can sign up to receive text and email alerts. People can also sign up for important non-emergency updates including information about road impacts from large events in the city or information about special events.

Find out more and sign up today.

Work for the city of Lakewood

We're hiring! City of Lakewood

We’re hiring! Looking to change careers? Looking for a new job? Ready to re-enter the job market?

Join the city of Lakewood! We have a variety of positions open across multiple departments. Lakewood offers a competitive benefits package. We are part of the state retirement system (PERS). And the city is a beautiful place to work.

Find a current list of open positions online.

Road project updates


Final channelization concluded this week. Remaining work includes the installation of street luminaires (expected delivery at the end of May, installation in the first part of June) and the installation of a new signal bridge (still anticipated for late-July or early-August).

Hipkins Road

Base lift paving concluded Friday, May 17 from Angle Lane to Steilacoom Blvd. Crews continue to grade and prep for sidewalk. Water service work continues.

Washington Boulevard

Final channelization concluded this week. A damaged light pole at Alameda and Washington is expected to be replaced Monday, May 20, mid-day. Expect a short duration closure of westbound Washington Blvd on the west side of the roundabout at that location.

84th and Pine

The contractor communicated unexpected delays in receiving the signal system components. The new anticipated date of delivery is mid-July.

Farwest Drive, Safe Routes to School

The contract for this project was awarded to Ceccanti, Inc. A preconstruction conference is scheduled for next week. Work is expected to begin May 28. This project will include the placement of new sidewalks, curbs, ADA curb ramps, pedestrian luminaires, and a designated southbound bike lane.


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