Shaw Road Corridor Improvement Study
The City of Puyallup is conducting a Corridor Study to identify needed improvements for the segment of Shaw Road between 12th Avenue SE and 23rd Avenue SE. These improvements will ease traffic congestion, make it easier to access side streets, and provide non-motorized improvements to connect to regional trails and retail centers.
The City has hired a consultant, KPG Psomas, to evaluate current and future projected traffic volumes along with analyzing various site constraints (such as critical areas and streams) to develop a conceptual roadway widening plan. A traffic analysis evaluated several different road widening options to accommodate the future anticipated traffic volumes for 2040. The analysis provided corridor optimization to review widening options to compare the cost/benefits of a selected roadway section. The traffic analysis concluded by recommending a 4-lane roadway section between 23rd Ave SE and Highlands Boulevard and a 5-lane roadway section north of Highlands Boulevard to tie into the existing 5-lane section south of E Pioneer.
The future project will add vehicle capacity lanes to mitigate traffic congestion, which frequently occurs along this section of Shaw Road, especially during peak commute hours. The planned improvements will also include installing dedicated center turn lanes and two-way left turn lanes to improve safety and access to side streets. Current planned non-motorized improvements will include a shared-use (both pedestrians and bicycles use) pathway continuation and dedicated sidewalks to interconnect neighborhoods, schools, parks, shopping centers, businesses, and the regional trail system to the greater Puyallup South Hill community.
The initial design was presented to the public during a virtual Open House in December 2021. Initial comments were received by those in attendance. Staff and the consultant incorporated feedback into the proposed design, including the following items:
- A conceptual roadway alignment based on the desired section as warranted by an engineered traffic study.
- A conceptual stormwater plan.
- A preliminary grading plan with conceptual wall heights.
- A conceptual Deer Creek realignment and culvert replacement plan.
- A preliminary geotechnical investigation and analysis.
- A preliminary project funding estimate that will outline approximate construction and Right of Way acquisition costs.
The conceptual design plans will allow the city to seek future funding partners, such as Federal and State transportation grants, to help chip away at the overall funding required to improve this corridor.
In 2018, the City began work on making improvements to a section of Shaw Road, between 23rd Avenue SE and Manorwood Drive. Improvements to that section included minor widening to add a continuous two-way left-turn lane, sidewalks with crossing enhancements, a shared-use path for biking and walking, and the replacement of a sewer line. The project finished in 2019 with an overall project cost of approximately $8.7 million with the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) partnering to fund over 60% of the overall cost.
As a continuation of that work, the City applied for additional Puget Sound Region Council (PSRC) Surface Transportation Program funds in 2020 to begin studying improvement opportunities for the next phase of Shaw Road between 12th Avenue SE and 23rd Avenue SE. The City was successful in securing a $614,000 grant from the PSRC to conduct this corridor study and prepare conceptual design drawings.
In December 2021, a draft of the project’s traffic analysis findings was shared with City Council. The analysis looked at potential lane widening options to improve the overall level of service (LOS) based on the methodology outlined in the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual. Four conceptual roadway corridor buildout plans were simulated in with both the current and future traffic volume projects utilizing traffic modeling software. The first three roadway sections modeled were...
- Three-lane roadway section which consisted of 1 northbound and 1 southbound travel lane with a continuous two-way left turn lane,
- Four-lane roadway section which consisted of 1 northbound and 2 southbound travel lanes with a continuous two-way left turn lane, and
- Five-lane roadway section which consisted of 2 northbound and 2 southbound travel lanes with a continuous two-way left turn lane.
Based on the results of this initial modeling, the City’s design team produced a 4th preferred alternative which combined both a four-lane section and a five-lane section placed at locations that would optimize the vehicular movement through the corridor.
A detailed technical memorandum of the Traffic Analysis prepared as part of this corridor study can be found in the Documents section of this page.
Why is the City studying Shaw Road and what are the proposed improvements?
The segment of Shaw Road between 12th Avenue SE and 23rd Avenue SE is primarily a 2-lane roadway without sidewalks or bicycle facilities. During peak travel times it can be difficult to turn into and out of side streets, and during the afternoon commute, southbound traffic experiences congestion, particularly approaching the signal at 23rd Avenue SE.
This project will widen Shaw Road to add vehicle lanes to improve traffic flow, including a continuous center turn lane to enhance safety and access to side streets. The project will add sidewalk along the west side of the street and a shared use path along the east side of the street that will match the previous phase of Shaw Road improvements that were constructed in 2019, between 23rd Avenue SE and Manorwood Drive. These non-motorized improvements will connect neighborhoods, schools, parks, trails, and other nearby destinations. As part of the project, Deer Creek culverts will be improved for fish habitat, retaining walls will be constructed, and corridor utilities and street lighting will be upgraded.
Where would these improvements happen?
Most of the improvements to Shaw Road will be constructed between 12th Avenue SE and 23rd Avenue SE. Improvements will include two southbound lanes through the 23rd Avenue SE intersection that will merge into a single lane at approximately 24th Avenue Court SE. The project will construct a shared use path along the east side of the street that will extend north to E Pioneer and the Foothills Trail and south to connect to the existing Shaw Road Trail at 23rd Avenue SE.
I drive on Shaw Road frequently. How will this impact me?
Currently, there is no set construction date for improving this corridor. The City is still seeking funding sources for the project.
During construction, roadway users should expect that a full closure of Shaw Road will be necessary. Advanced messaging signs and detour routes will be established, and residents will be notified of upcoming construction activities well before the City moves ahead with construction on the next phase of the project.
Once completed, the project will improve safety, vehicle travel times, and access to side streets.
Will widening for project improvements impact properties along Shaw Road?
Some segments of Shaw Road will be able to fit the improvements within the existing right of way, and other segments may require the acquisition of additional right of way width along Shaw Road.
How will the project be paid for?
The project is currently only funded as a planning study to identify corridor improvements. Funding for construction is expected to come from a variety of sources including grants, funds through the state legislature, impact fees and mitigation from new development, and City of Puyallup local funding.
What are the next steps and when is the City making these improvements?
Currently, there is no timeline for the City to begin making improvements. The next steps for City Staff will be to take the results of this corridor study and:
- Secure Funding to supplement City revenues to appropriately fund the final design and construction of the project with a phased buildout approach.
- Develop an overall stormwater basin plan for the Shaw Road Corridor that will accommodate the increase in runoff because of widening the roadway. The basin plan will need to meet current stormwater regulations for both water quality and quantity control as determined by the Washington State Department of Ecology Stormwater Manual for Western Washington.
- Coordinate with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife with regards to improving fish passage by replacing substandard culverts along the Shaw Road Corridor in addition to permitting the re-alignment of Deer Creek as necessary to complete the roadway widening project.
- Develop a final Right of Way (ROW) acquisition plan and begin negotiations to obtain the necessary area to build the roadway improvement project.
- Develop a final project phasing plan that will allow for smaller funding requests to be secured to “chip” away at the overall expected cost of this corridor widening project.
Who can I send comments to?
If you have a comment or question about the project, please email Drew Young, Senior Civil Engineer.
The project includes two Open Houses to share project information with the public and receive input. At the first Open House, staff will share the project background, findings from the corridor study, and the proposed improvements for the section of Shaw Road. Feedback will be taken into consideration as the project refines the proposed improvements.
The first Open House was held on December 9, 2021 via Zoom and on the City's Facebook page. To watch the Open House, please go to www.Facebook.com/PuyallupCity. You can also watch the video below.
The second Open House will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Pioneer Park Pavilion. At the Open House, City staff and its consultant, KPG Psomas, will present an update on the project. During the presentation, the project team will discuss the design concept, project phasing, and next steps. The City encourages residents to attend this Open House and give feedback about this important project.