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Tukwila's largest grading project ever helps create massive development

Tukwila developers Mario and Mark Segale are creating new land for development along South 200th Street and Orillia Road as part of their Tukwila South project. - Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter
Tukwila developers Mario and Mark Segale are creating new land for development along South 200th Street and Orillia Road as part of their Tukwila South project.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter

Anyone who has driven on South 200th Street across the Valley in recent weeks has watched the earth move.

A "whopping" 500,000 cubic yards of dirt, as Tukwila's public works director calls it, is moving north to south next to Southcenter Parkway in Tukwila for developer Mario Segale’s massive Tukwila South project.

Tukwila South will bring thousands of the jobs to Tukwila and become a major economic hub in King County.

Moving that 500,000 cubic yards of dirt is the largest grading project ever in Tukwila, says Bob Giberson, the Tukwila's public works director. The work has been under way for several weeks.

The project calls for removing the hillside at South 180th Street and Southcenter Parkway and hauling it south less than a mile where it’s being used to create new areas for development.

Viewed from Orillia Road, what once was uneven territory filled with scrub and trees is now a plateau with commanding views of the Valley and Mount Rainier.

The City of Tukwila will build a new fire station where the hillside once stood.

It will take about 16,700 truck trips to move the earth, mostly traveling on land paralleling Southcenter Parkway to the east. The trucks still need to cross the parkway at two points.

The “disappearing hill” is being graded flat in two stages, according to Giberson.

Stage one is the removal of 75,000 cubic yards of dirt to make way for Puget Sound Energy to relocate its high-pressure gas line along the north side of the new fire station site, according to Giberson. That’s about 2,500 truck trips.

Stage two is the removal of old South 178th/180th Street and of the former high-pressure gas line. The relocated gas line allows the removal of an additional 425,000 cubic yards, or another 14,177 truck trips.

There is no specific date when the work is to be completed, Giberson said.

Once the grading is complete and utilities are in place, Segale can apply for building permits for the project.

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