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Link to the Greenroads website

Tacoma's First Greenroads Community

The City of Tacoma became the first "Green Roads Community" in June 2014 through adoption of Resolution 38945. This means that the City is committed to developing a Policy for the City's roads and other transportation infrastructure in order to be models of environmental, economic, and social stewardship and by setting community goals of sustainable design, construction, and maintenance.

Greenroads is a sustainability ranking system used by the City of Tacoma. As the communitywith the highest concentration of Greenroads certificated in the nation, we are pleased to share our perspective on what Greenroads brings to our community.

What is the Greenroads program?
Greenroads is a certification program created by the University of Washington in collaboration with consulting firm CH2M HILL. A Greenroad is defined as a roadway project that has been designed and constructed to a level of sustainability that is substantially higher than current common practice. It is designed for the construction of both new and renovated roads; Greenroads uses credits to determine the extent to which a project implements sustainable practices.

How do Greenroads credits work?
The Greenroads program awards credits for each approved practice used in a construction project. The program is weighted, which means points are given for best practices that are in direct relation to the extent of each sustainable practices performed on the roadway. It is considered similar to the LEED certification for buildings, with the added benefit of immediate cost-savings.

What are the benefits of Greenroads to Tacoma?

  • Fulfills the City’s planning goals for achieving sustainability including the City’s Climate Action Plan, the Sustainable Purchasing Policy and the Complete Street’s Guidelines.
  • Significantly lowers construction cost while increasing the projected useful life of roads by using higher design standards and exploring innovative technologies.
  • Encourages increased collaboration throughout the City to provide the best long term solutions to the City’s infrastructure. 
  • Increased awareness of the contractor’s impact on neighbors and the environment.
  • Increased public awareness.

Why should we use Greenroads in the City of Tacoma?
The City of Tacoma's road network is due not only for repairs but for an upgrade as well. With an average pavement rating index that is well below the average for an equivalent city of its size, the City of Tacoma must take a hard look at a sustainable approach to rebuilding its roads. As Tacoma rebuilds its roads a holistic look is required to make sure that we are building what is needed for the community and is built in the most fiscally responsible manner. We also need to build roads to last and have a sustainable funding source to maintain them. Greenroads provides the tools to help our city engineers, directors and elected officials make informed decisions about how we will rebuild our road projects with a sustainable approach.

What projects has the City completed?
In the 2012 construction season, four roads were constructed as Greenroads: