Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 •
Communications Manager

March 15, 2018

From WSDOT: 

A contractor working on a utility project for Joint Base Lewis-McChord will close the northbound Interstate 5 exit to Berkeley Avenue overnight Friday, March 16. 

Crews will close the ramp from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. Saturday, March 17. During the closure, travelers who use this exit will be detoured to the Thorne Lane interchange.

Advance information for highway construction and maintenance is available at the Olympic Region Weekly Construction and Traffic Updates  web page.

March 14, 2018

Over the weekend (March 11 and 12, 2018) the City of Lakewood learned of train signal malfunctions that occurred at the Berkeley Avenue and Thorne Lane intersections in its Tillicum neighborhood.

Residents posting to social media complained of the signal arms coming down and staying down both Saturday and Sunday around the same time – late afternoon into early evening. Understandably they reached out to the city for answers and to fix the problem.

The city does not own or operate the railroad crossing arms or the traffic signals in Tillicum. Instead the traffic signals are operated by WSDOT and the rail crossings are operated by Sound Transit. As such, residents were directed by the city to call 911 to report the problem so that the proper authorities could be dispatched to respond.

City officials reached out to Sound Transit, which owns the railroad tracks, and WSDOT Rail Monday to find out what happened.

Here’s what we were told:

The WSDOT Olympic Region on-call technician was notified by the WSDOT Traffic Management Center Saturday afternoon at approximately 4:30 p.m. that there were problems with the signals and crossings in the Tillicum neighborhood of Lakewood. The Traffic Management Center also notified Burlington Northern-Santa Fe of the problem.

According to WSDOT, the signal technician was called off before he could respond to the site because it was a railroad issue, not an intersection traffic signal issue. BNSF is said to have sent a crew to respond and remedy the problem Saturday.

BNSF crews were also dispatched Sunday for similar complaints of the signal crossings coming down and not going back up.

So far the city does not have information on how long it took BNSF crews to arrive and/or fix the issue. The city also has not been told what caused the malfunction and whether it has been fixed permanently.

We sent an email to Sound Transit Monday morning requesting answers to a series of questions around the signal malfunction, including asking who will step up to take responsibility for ensuring the safety of our community.

The city learned over the weekend that people were told to lift the signal arms to cross the tracks, something that 911 dispatch reports show people were in fact doing.

The city is alarmed that this is what residents were told to do, and cannot emphasize enough the importance of obeying all crossing signals and signs – even if it appears they are stuck in the down position and malfunctioning.

Should a railroad crossing signal malfunction occur again residents can call 911 or the South Sound 911 non-emergency number: (253) 798-4721 to report the problem.

We share our residents’ concerns and frustrations over what occurred this weekend and will continue to seek answers to ensure our neighborhoods are safe as we prepare for high-speed trains to once again come through our community.

The city uses its social media to connect with residents in real time and encourages people to follow Sound Transit and WSDOT as well for information.

Sound Transit

Twitter: @SoundTransit

Facebook: @SoundTransit


Twitter: @wsdot @wsdot_traffic and @wsdot_tacoma

Facebook: @WSDOT

March 9, 2018

*Note: This information is being shared in partnership with West Pierce Fire & Rescue  as part of an ongoing effort to help residents prepare for an emergency month by month.*

Clean water is essential for life, both for hydration and to prevent the spread of disease. Healthcare providers who assisted with disaster efforts in Puerto Rico treated multiple conditions related to contaminated water, including vomiting, diarrhea, pink eye and leptospirosis. Clean water storage is a top priority in disaster preparedness. This month West Pierce CERT will assist residents in learning about water storage preparation.

Each person in a household requires one gallon of water per day for drinking and sanitation. FEMA recommends storing enough water for each member of a household for two weeks. While specialized barrels to store large amounts of water and tools to maintain water purity are available for purchase, it is not the only method in which you can store water.

Water can be stored in screw-top plastic bottles, such as a two-liter soda bottle, which are less likely to break or leak. Look for the triangular recycling symbol with a number “1”, as those are the best for water storage. Plastic milk and juice containers are not recommended, asthey are difficult to sanitize and their plastic can become fragile and brittle over time.

To sanitize a two-liter soda bottle, rinse it out with one teaspoon on non-chlorine bleach and one quart of water. Then fill the bottle with clean water and screw the lid on tightly. Label the bottle “drinking water”, put a date on it and store it in a cool, dark place. Empty, sanitize, and refill the bottle every six months to ensure the water remains clean. Bottled water may also be purchased and used for storage. While the FDA does not require expiration dates to be printed on bottled water, it is recommended it be consumed within a two-year period. Once the bottled water has been opened, there is the potential for bacteria and algae to develop.

Using water of questionable purity
It may be necessary to use water of questionable purity. This includes rainwater, water from streams, rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, and potentially flood water. These sources of water can contain various contaminates that could cause illness. Before using water from these sources, it will be necessary to sanitize this water.

The first step in sanitizing water will be to filter out as many solids as possible. This can be done using coffee filters, several layers of paper towels, or a clean cloth. Portable water filters can also be used. If purchasing a portable water filter, choose one with a filter pore size small enough to remove both bacteria and parasites. Most portable water filters do not remove viruses. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the water filter intended to be used.

Sanitizing water by boiling
After filtering the water, bring water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow it to cool naturally. Boiling water is the surest method to kill many disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Sanitizing water by using bleach
For each gallon of filtered water, add eight drops of unscented chlorine bleach and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. If the faint scent of bleach is present after 30 minutes, the water is good to use. If bleach is not detected, add eight more drops of bleach and let it stand for another 15-30 minutes. If a faint scent of bleach is still not detected, the water cannot be used for drinking.

Remember, boiling water and using bleach will kill most viruses and bacteria but it will not remove metals, salts or chemicals, so the water may still have a funny taste. The taste may be improved by pouring it from one container to another and allowing it to stand for a few hours or by adding a pinch of salt for each quart of water. Also, plan for how to boil water if there were no power.

Hidden sources of water in your home
Turning off the main water valve does two things: It prevents contaminated water from entering the lines in a home, and it keeps gravity from draining water out of the home’s lines if there is a break in an outside pipe. To turn off the water, locate the main shut-off valve and turn the knob or handle clockwise until it is completely closed. A wrench may be needed to do this. Some older homes may also have a shut-off inside, located in the basement or garage.

Water heaters can provide several gallons of drinking water can be obtained by following these steps:

1.    Determine whether it is an electric or gas-powered water heater. This will determine how to turn off the source that makes the water hot. If it is electric, turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater. If it is gas, close the gas valve.

2.    Turn off the water intake valve.

3.    Attach a short hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank to assist with draining. A three-foot length garden hose or washing machine supple hose can be used.

4.    Turn on a hot water faucet in the house to let air into the system.

5.    Drain water from the hot water heater. Hearing a sucking sound in the pipes is likely to occur. Sediment will also likely be in the water that is drained. Use the methods described earlier to clear the water of sediments after allowing them to settle to the bottom of the water.

6.    Refill the tank before turning the electricity or gas back on. REMEMBER, a professional MUST turn the gas back on after it has been turned it off for safety reasons.

Tip: Protect this water source by securing your water heater to the wall studs. Learn how at:

Water standing in the pipes of a house is also available for use. To collect this water, turn on a faucet at the highest level of the home to allow air in the lines. A small amount of water will trickle out. Water can then be collected from a faucet at the lowest level of the home. Water can also be obtained by melting ice cubes, from canned fruit and vegetable liquids, and from toilet tanks, as long as toilet cleansers have not been placed in them.

Unsafe Water Sources

Sources that should never be used for drinking water:

  • Radiators
  • Toilet bowls
  • Hot water boilers (part of a home heating and not drinking water system)
  • Water beds (fungicides are added to the water and chemicals in the vinyl case make the water unsafe for use)
  • Swimming pools or spas (due to the chemicals added)
  • Any water that has an unusual odor or color, or that you know or suspect might be contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals. Water contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals CANNOT be made safe for drinking by boiling or disinfection.

March 8, 2018

We have entered the next phase of our downtown planning process. The city's draft downtown plan and draft planned action environmental impact statement will be presented to the public at an open house March 21 at 5:30 p.m. before the city's Planning Commission meeting.

The open house will have interactive displays and a chance for discussion. Refreshments will also be available. The Planning Commission will then discuss the plan at its meeting.

To see the plan before the March 21 open house visit the project website March 16. That's when the plan will be posted online and from there a 30-day comment period will begin. Review the documents and provide your thoughts and comments online .

March 13, 2018

The City of Lakewood will host an open house Tuesday, March 20 at Oakbrook Elementary in the library from 6-7 p.m. for Oakbrook residents to share their thoughts on planned street improvements for Onyx Drive.

The city has plans to improve Onyx between 97th Avenue and Phillips Road, but the first phase will focus on Onyx between 87th and 89thavenues. Public input is needed to shape the city’s plans.

Return to this page for more information about the project and what is proposed.


March 8, 2018


Early morning travelers who use northbound Interstate 5 near Bridgeport Way may encounter delays on Saturday, March 10.

Between 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., Washington State Department of Transportation bridge maintenance crews will close the two right lanes approaching Bridgeport Way SW to repair the bridge deck that spans Clover Creek. The northbound I-5 exit to Bridgeport Way SW (#125) will also close during that time.

Advance information for highway construction and maintenance is available at the Olympic Region Weekly Construction and Traffic Updates web page.

March 7, 2018

From the Lakewood Historical Society:

Join the Lakewood Historical Society for the 2nd annual Flapjack Fundraiser!

Due to our success with this tasty FUNdraiser last year, the Lakewood Historical Society has decided to make this an annual event.

Come with a hearty appetite for a morning filled with great food, good conversation, and lots of fabulous prizes!

Tickets are only $10 and available for purchase at the Lakewood History Museum.

Serving up some hearty historical fun!


What: Flapjack Fundraiser

Where: Lakewood Towne Center Applebee’s, 10407 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW Lakewood, WA 98499

When: Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Tickets: $10, available for purchase at the Lakewood History Museum, 6211 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW, (Open Wed.-Sat. 12-4 p.m.). Phone: (253) 682-3480


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