Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.
The Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Department used this grant to extend an elevated pedestrian overpass of the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe Railroad. The BNSF Railroad separated 2 miles of beach from the uplands in University Place. The finished project provides public access to more than 2 miles of Puget Sound shoreline that has not been open to the public for more than 100 years. Two sets of stairs provide access to the beach. The beach is located adjacent to an award-winning, beautifully reclaimed, former gravel mine that offers views of islands, the Olympic Mountains, south Puget Sound, and the Chambers Creek Regional Park. The overpass provides the only public access to this beach other than by boat. The closest public beach is 3.2 miles south of this site and is separated by Chambers Bay.