BONNEY LAKE, WA (July 6, 2023) – More than a quarter of a century in the making, construction has begun on the four-lane, $150 million New Rhodes Lake Road East corridor that will provide an arterial connection between the Bonney Lake Plateau and the Orting Valley.
On July 6, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in the Tehaleh community near Bonney Lake with leaders from Pierce County, Brookfield Properties and the surrounding community to mark the beginning of the project. The long-planned corridor was established in 2008 by Pierce County Ordinance 2008-28s. Mitigation funds from Tehaleh provided the funds for the new road’s construction.
“New Rhodes Lake Road East will be a significant transportation improvement for East Pierce County. The corridor provides infrastructure needed to improve quality of life, create business opportunities and enhance community safety,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “This new road is part of a larger vision for improvements that include expanding parts of Hwy 162 and improving its intersection with Hwy 410 at Sumner.”
The new road connects Orting, Puyallup and Sumner to Bonney Lake and Buckley from Hwy 162 at 128 th Street E. in McMillin to Hwy 410 via Falling Water Boulevard, Tehaleh Boulevard and 198 th Ave E. The arterial will provide two lanes in each direction and an uphill truck climbing lane. A 13-foot bike and walking trail will be built alongside the road. The trail ties the Foothills Trail in the Orting Valley to other recreational opportunities, including a mountain bike park in Tehaleh currently under construction. The new road will displace traffic from Rhodes Lake Road East – a narrow and winding roadway that serves the community today—and will provide an alternative to Hwy 410 from Sumner to Bonney Lake.
“Pierce County has a solid history of encouraging economic development and supporting business recruitment, retention and expansion. Tehaleh has the potential to create an estimated 6,000 new jobs on 475 acres that has zoning and utilities in place for business right now. New Rhodes Lake Road is the last critical piece of infrastructure needed to efficiently move goods, services and employees between East Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma and the I-5 corridor,” said Dave Morell, Pierce County Councilmember for District 1 which includes Bonney Lake, Orting and other portions of East Pierce County.
The new road will be constructed in four segments, one of which includes a new bridge over the Puyallup River to provide two eastbound lanes with the existing bridge serving westbound traffic. Construction of the first phase of the road (CRP 5731) consists of clearing and grading up the hill to Falling Water Boulevard East. This phase will take approximately two years, followed by one year to complete the road. The entire road is anticipated to be completed and open for traffic by the spring of 2027.
Though completion is still years away, the road’s construction has already stirred interest from business. “We are hearing from companies who are interested in relocating to one of Tehaleh’s commercial centers. With the direct connection to Hwy 162, it will be much easier to get goods to larger urban areas or The Port of Tacoma,” explained Scott Jones, senior vice president, Brookfield Properties.
About Tehaleh: Tehaleh is a 4,756-acre planned community located near Bonney Lake, WA. The community is currently home to 9,800 people, two elementary schools, 14 parks, nearly 40 miles of trails and 1,800 acres dedicated to open space, and where over 500 people work every day.
Tehaleh by Newland is owned in a joint venture partnership between North America Sekisui House, LLC (NASH) and Brookfield Residential, and is proudly managed by Brookfield Properties. These partners share a deep commitment to sustainable development practices and apply these core values to the vision, planning, and development of their communities. Tehaleh by Newland is one of more than 20 communities this partnership manages together across the US.