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Tag: Berm v. Post-&-Beam


Tacoma could get yet another berm

I was poring through the files to figure out the plan for Cheney Stadium and came across this bombshell. In the program summary, the city has asked prospective stadium architects to include “sloped grass seating areas down foul lines and in outfield.”

This feature is defined in the specs as “Seating – Berm.”

A berm? After all the effort some city residents have gone through fighting Sound Transit’s plan to use an earthen berm to elevate Sounder tracks south of the Tacoma Dome? Now the city suggests using this same discredited method at Cheney Stadium.

Forget the City of Destiny.

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Meetings: Berms, beams and posts

In the continuing saga over Sound Transit’s controversial D to M Street commuter rail project, meetings tonight and tomorrow should provide some lively discourse.

(Reporter Kris Sherman had a good overview story on the subject in Sunday’s TNT)

At 5 p.m. tonight at the Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel (2611 East E Street, Tacoma), the Dome District and the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects will present a computer-animated presentation detailing their take on the differences between the current Sound Transit-backed berm design and opponent-supported post-and-beam designs for the project.

Here’s how “Do it

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Merritt: Moving ahead with post & beam

On Friday, I shadowed Tacoma mayoral hopeful Jim Merritt for several hours during a typical campaign day, collecting string for an eventual profile I’ll do of the two candidates in the mayor’s race. I’m scheduled to tag along behind Marilyn Strickland later this week.
Jim Merritt
During one of Merritt’s stops on Friday, he met at the Mystic Mocha Cafe with one of his biggest supporters, Dome District construction firm owner, Keith Stone.  Stone and Merritt had called the meeting to discuss Sound Transit’s D to M Street rail project with two structural engineers.

The reason? Merritt is forging ahead with getting an alternative “post & beam” design plan drafted of the project — even though Sound Transit has said it intends to use a different design plan that is now about 75 percent complete.
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Baarsma: `Pent up’ over Post & Beam, Berm`implications’

As Tuesday evening’s Tacoma City Council meeting was winding down, Mayor Bill Baarsma unleashed a passionate speech denouncing “implications” that planning for Sound Transit’s proposed commuter rail line through Tacoma’s Dome District has been anything but above-board.

“There have been implications that there has been a series of meetings, kind of behind-closed-doors, and there’s been very little opportunity for the public to weigh in on this particular project,” the mayor began.

Mayor Baarsma

“I have been on this city council for nearly 16 years and I can’t think of a single project in which we’ve had more public meetings, more sessions and more changes in a particular project.”

The speech — or rather, the mayor’s impassioned delivery of it — ultimately had Baarsma profusely apologizing for himself, and drew chuckles from his colleagues and audience members.  It also led the stalwart city politician to eventually vacate the dais to compose himself and his tousled hair.

“Maybe I’ve been pent up,  and this is the opportunity to express my feelings,”  explained Baarsma, shortly before handing the gavel off to Deputy Mayor Julie Anderson to briefly take over council proceedings.

Anderson initially responded with a one word exclamation: “Woaahhh!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Baarsma replied.

Video of the meeting can be found here (Baarsma’s speech comes near the end of the meeting).

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Sound Transit: A bridge — not a berm — at B Street

Sound Transit says it will build a bridge — not an earthen berm  — over the so-called B-Street Gulch within its project site to install commuter rail tracks through Tacoma’s Dome District.

The design change for that part of the project largely was spurred by community concerns about aesthetics and wildlife,  Jim Edwards, Sound Transit’s director of capital projects,  said this week.

“In the past several months,  we became aware of the potential for a habitat trail through the gulch area,”  Edwards said.  “That caused us to go back and reevaluate things.”

Although bridges typically cost more than berms do to build, Edwards said, the move likely will not increase overall project costs because it will off-set additional costs needed for that area under previous construction plans. Overall, the D to M Street project cost estimates remain at about $160 million, he said.

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