Public building
Under $10 million

Spanish Steps historic rehabilitation

Location: Tacoma
General contractor: Pease Construction
Owner/developer: City of Tacoma
Engineer: City of Tacoma
Architect: Artifacts Consulting
Contract amount: $457,000

Photo courtesy of Pease Construction
The city of Tacoma saved 4.5 percent of the contract price for rehabilitation work at the Spanish Steps after Peace Construction suggested an alternative method for attaching the balusters to the railing.

Modeled after the famous steps in Rome, Tacoma’s Spanish Steps are considered a rare artifact. Pease Construction carefully rehabilitated the 95-year-old steps, which are used as a pedestrian connection between major roadways.

The rehabilitation included the urns, baluster, newels, posts, railings and streetlights. New signage, pedestrian furnishings and a retaining wall were also installed.

The proposed method for attaching the balusters to the railing was labor intensive and could have been destructive. Pease suggested an alternative method that was structurally sound and far less invasive.

The plan resulted in a credit to the city of 4.5 percent of the original contract price. Also, Pease exceeded state safety requirements by developing and following a stringent air-respirator program for the project, which required a substantial amount of concrete grinding.

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