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Tacoma area construction

Girder setting brings overnight closures of I-5 in Tacoma week of June 18
Contractor crews have five nights of full closures planned for I-5 beginning the week of June 18. During the first three nights of closures, crews will set girders over southbound I-5. Two nights of closures will follow in the northbound direction for the same activity.

The closures are necessary so crews can set 18 bridge girders for the new McKinley Way / D Street overpass.

Night ramp and lane closures
Tuesday, June 19, to Thursday, June 21

  • Lane closures on southbound I-5 will begin each night at 8 p.m.
  • Each night from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m., southbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane that will exit to I-705 to SR 509, to southbound I-705 and back to southbound I-5.This closure is in place for girder setting. 

Thursday, June 21

  • Southbound I-5 exit #135 to SR 167 and Portland Avenue will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday for paving.
  • The intersection of East 26th Street and East Bay Street will close from 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21 to 5 a.m. Friday, June 22.
  • East 27th Street between Portland Avenue and Bay Street will close from 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21 to 4 a.m. Friday, June 22.

Friday, June 22

  • Lane closures on northbound I-5 will begin at 11 p.m. Friday.
  • Northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, June 23. That lane will exit to I-705 to SR 509 to Portland Avenue (or Port of Tacoma Road) and back to northbound I-5. This closure is in place for girder setting.
  • Southbound I-5 exit #135 to SR 167 and Portland Avenue will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday for paving.
  • East 27th Street between Portland Avenue and Bay Street will close from 11 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday, June 23.
  • The intersection of East 26th Street and East Bay Street will close from  10 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, June 23.

Saturday, June 23

  • Northbound SR 7 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday.
  • Southbound I-705 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

From 8 p.m. Saturday, June 23 to 4 a.m. Monday, June 25, the following closures will be in place:

  • Southbound I-5 exit #135 to Portland Avenue and SR 167
  • East 26th and East Bay Street intersection
  • East 27th Street from Bay Street to Portland Avenue
  • East 27th and Portland Avenue intersection
  • Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5

Monday, June 25

  • Lane closures on northbound I-5 will begin at 10 p.m. Monday.
  • Northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 26. That lane will exit to I-705 to SR 509 to Portland Avenue (or Port of Tacoma Road) and back to northbound I-5. This closure is in place for girder setting.
  • Southbound I-705 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Northbound SR 7 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 27

  • Southbound I-5 exit #132A to S. 38th Street will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday. 

Local road closures

  • 20th Street East between PraxAir and Pacific Highway in Fife will close each night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each following day Monday, June 18 through Friday, June 22.
  • Weather permitting - South Tacoma Way between South Sprague Street and Wilkeson Street will close from 11 p.m. Friday, June 29, to 7 a.m. Saturday, June 30 for a concrete pour on the new SR 16 HOV overpass.

Additional lane closures are planned each night for northbound and southbound I-5 between South 48th Street and the Puyallup River, and on eastbound and westbound SR 16 near South Tyler Street. Signed detours will be in place.

Revisions to traffic signals on Bay Street in Tacoma
Drivers who use the Bay Street intersections of East 27th Street and East 28th Street will see changes to the traffic signals.

East 27th Street & Bay Street

  • This signal, which was in a yellow flash mode previously, will now stop southbound I-5 drivers at the bottom of the ramp for the Portland Avenue exit #135. It will also affect drivers from southbound State Route 167 and East 26th Street. Turning the signal on allows a left turn for Bay Street drivers turning left to East 27th Street. For now, only construction traffic will use this left turn. Once construction is complete, this road and left turn will open to all traffic.

East 28th Street & Bay Street

  • This existing traffic signal will now allow traffic to travel north on Bay Street and turn left to East 27th Street. Currently only construction traffic is utilizing this option while crews finish building a new storm water pond and a new connecting street between East 28th Street and East 29th Street. Once complete, the road will open up to all traffic.


Why are these closures necessary?
The contractors widening I-5 in Tacoma to build new HOV lanes are working in very tight work zones. We allow contractor crews to close lanes and ramps at night when traffic volumes are lower. Often times the crews are mobilizing large pieces of equipment or bringing in several large trucks to haul out material or bring in new material. It's more efficient for these trucks to enter and exit the work zones at night with lower traffic volumes.

Major milestone: New northbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge opens to traffic
Crews working for WSDOT to build the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Northbound HOV project have reached an important milestone in WSDOT’s ongoing efforts to extend HOV lanes into Pierce County. All travelers on northbound I-5 are now driving across the new Puyallup River Bridge. Moving all traffic onto the new bridge marks the project’s final major stage of construction.

The new 1,569 foot-long Puyallup River Bridge opened to ramp traffic in October, 2017. Since then, contractor crews have been rebuilding the alignment of northbound I-5 so that the lanes are now realigned with the new bridge. 

The project is expected to finish later this year. You can view photos of this project on the WSDOT Flickr account.


Traffic shift on southbound I-5 in Tacoma
Design build contactor has Skanska moved all lanes of southbound I-5 onto a new temporary lane configuration. Here is what drivers need to know about this temporary traffic shift:

Southbound I-5 to westbound SR 16
Crews widening I-5 in Tacoma to build new HOV lanes are working in very tight work zones. We allow contractor crews to close lanes and ramps at night when traffic volumes are lower. Often times the crews are mobilizing large pieces of equipment or bringing in several large trucks to haul out material or bring in new material. It's more efficient for these trucks to enter and exit the work zones at night with lower traffic volumes. Crews working for WSDOT to build the have reached an important milestone in WSDOT’s ongoing efforts to extend HOV lanes into Pierce County. All travelers on northbound I-5 are now driving across the new Puyallup River Bridge. Moving all traffic onto the new bridge marks the project’s final major stage of construction.

The new 1,569 foot-long Puyallup River Bridge opened to ramp traffic in October, 2017. Since then, contractor crews have been rebuilding the alignment of northbound I-5 so that the lanes are now realigned with the new bridge. The project is expected to finish later this year. You can view photos of this project on the .Design build contactor has Skanska moved all lanes of southbound I-5 onto a new temporary lane configuration. Here is what drivers need to know about this temporary traffic shift:


  • Drivers on southbound I-5 headed to westbound SR 16 will merge to the right between Pacific Avenue and Yakima Avenue to reach the exit to SR 16. This is the same location where drivers currently merge. We mention this because you won't be able to merge over to westbound SR 16 at the last minute. Drivers who miss SR 16 exit can continue on southbound I-5 and exit at S. 56th Street east to northbound I-5 to SR 16.

Eastbound SR 16, I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue to southbound I-5
Travelers on eastbound SR 16 and in downtown Tacoma headed to southbound I-5 will also experience a change in their normal route.

  • Drivers heading to southbound I-5 from I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue will be directed onto the South 38th Street exit, and will rejoin southbound I-5 near South 48th Street via the collector/distributor.
  • Eastbound SR 16 travelers headed to the Tacoma Mall will not be able to exit to westbound South 38th Street. Drivers will be directed via southbound I-5 and exit at South 56th Street, and will be routed back north to westbound South 38th Street. See detour map below:

 Eastbound SR 16 to S 38th Street west detour

Temporary southbound I-5 configuration through 2018

May 2018 SB I-5 traffic switch graphic

View image on Flickr.

This traffic shift creates a new workzone so crews can begin demolishing and rebuilding southbound I-5 at the SR 16 interchange. Crews will also build the connecting HOV lanes between I-5 and SR 16. The temporary configuration is expected to remain in place through 2018.


Changes for the Eastbound SR 16 and S. 38th Street merge to northbound I-5

Contractor crews have reduced the State Route 16 approach to northbound Interstate 5 to a single lane. This temporary change allows construction crews access to a workzone while they continue work on the project.

This ramp configuration has been in place previously and has caused delays. This temporary configuration will be in place through fall 2018 while crews finish the project. To help eastbound SR 16 and S. 38th Street travelers bypass some of the anticipated backups, WSDOT encourages drivers to try an alternate route that uses SR 7. More information about this route is available on WSDOT’s YouTube video.

Travelers who use the ramp may want to plan extra time into their commute.


McKinley Way overpass being rebuilt

  • East McKinley Way at I-5 in Tacoma closed to all traffic so crews can rebuild the overpass to accommodate a wider I-5. The roadway isn't expected to reopen to traffic until late summer 2018.  Until the overpass is rebuilt, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will detour to the rebuilt Pacific Avenue overpass. Rebuilding both overpasses is part of the effort to expand I-5 HOV lanes into Tacoma. Crews recently installed the first nine girders on the new McKinley Way (East D Street) overpass, which will span Interstate 5. Watch a quick time lapse video taken on Nov. 30 of the girders going up on WSDOT's YouTube channel.

Pierce Transit SR 512 Park & Ride Construction
On June 11, the SR 512 Park & Ride located at 10617 South Tacoma Way in Lakewood, will close for approximately 4 months for repairs and improvements. During the project, Park & Ride stalls will be unusable. Transit customers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead. Details on alternative parking locations can be found online at: https://www.piercetransit.org/SR512/


City of Tacoma Puyallup River Bridge Replacement Project
The City of Tacoma is closing the Pacific Hwy Bridge that spans the Puyallup River starting Monday, May 21, 2018 through February 2019. During the closure, contractor crews will remove and replace the 1927 bridge. For additional information on the project, please contact City of Tacoma project manager Chris Storey at 253-573-2484, or visit the city's project web page.


I-5 - Port of Tacoma Interchange Improvement Project
In June 2018, the City of Fife will begin Phase 1 of this project, which brings road, interchange and intersection improvements to the Port of Tacoma. For more information on this project, please contact Fife Public Works at 253-922-9315, or visit the city's project web page.

Slow down and Give ‘em a Brake
Drivers are advised to give themselves extra travel time and become familiar with current ramp closures and detour routes on Interstate 5 in Tacoma before heading out the door. If you're driving at night, please slow down in work zones and avoid distracted driving. Help keep our work crews safe. Slow down, pay attention, and stay calm. Work zones aren't there to personally inconvenience you. They're there to improve the roads for everyone. It’s a drivers’ own interest to be safe in work zones. Statewide, more than 96 percent of people injured in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians.

 
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