A group of people pose with Mayor Jason Whalen and Councilmember Trestin Lauricella at the ribbon cutting for Washington Boulevard in Lakewood, WA Nov. 22,2023

Washington Boulevard is open

Lakewood Mayor Jason Whalen holds a pair large scissors preparing the cut a blue ribbon alongside Councilmember Trestin Lauricella.

Nov. 22, 2023

After more than two years of phased closures, Washington Boulevard reopened to traffic Wednesday afternoon. The re-opening signifies a major milestone in the $23 million project.

No more significant road closures are expected, however intermittent lane closures will occur as the project moves toward completion.

The project is still a construction zone, so drivers are asked to please drive slow and be aware of barrels and other signage. Remaining work includes finishing the connection to driveways and sidewalks, mailbox installation, streetlight installation, landscaping and other punch-list items.

Lakewood Mayor Jason Whalen was joined Wednesday by Lakewood City Council member Trestin Lauricella, City Manager John Caulfield, representatives from Lakewood Water District, the state Transportation Improvement Board, the Lake City Neighborhood Association and members of the city’s Public Works Engineering Team. The group celebrated the end of the road closures with a ribbon cutting.

In his remarks Whalen recognized and thanked the city’s project team that facilitated the project from inception to it’s now (almost) completion. The project is the largest road improvement project in the city’s history and required a serious lift on behalf of the city’s small but mighty transportation division.

Public Works Engineering team members thanked include:

  • Paul Bucich, Director
  • Troy Pokswinski, Capital Projects Division Manager
  • Weston Ott, Engineering Services Division Manager
  • Kyle Tokita, Project Manager
  • Chris Phippen, Inspector
  • Bob Toy, Inspector
  • Brent Cummings, Construction Management Lead

Mayor Whalen also thanked the Transportation Improvement Board for its financial support of the project. The board approved two of the city’s grant requests to help fund the project, totaling $7 million.

Lakewood Water District was able to pivot with little turnaround time to partner with the city on the project so that the water main underground was upgraded and improved during construction. Upgrading the piping during this project meant only one major road impact to residents. The alternative would be ripping up the roadway a second time to make the improvements.

The city relied on design firms Parametrix and BCRA to design the project. Typically a project of this size would take 18 months to two years to complete. The firms were able to get it turned around in five months to meet the city’s grant request deadlines.

Mayor Whalen also thanked the contractor, R.L. Alia Construction and project Superintendent Dick Wall and foreman Troy Anderson. They kept the project moving forward. As a result the project is months ahead of schedule.

In his final thank you, Mayor Whalen extended his gratitude and thanks to the Lakewood residents and businesses who live and operate along Washington Boulevard.

The closures over the last two and a half years have been a disruption to those who live along the major thoroughfare or who use it daily to go places. The patience and grace of our residents while this important work was completed is appreciated, Whalen said.

These improvements will last for decades and we hope residents enjoy the new sidewalks, street lights and improved traffic flow through the area.