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Tacoma area construction

Pavement preservation on Vickery Avenue East in Pierce County

  • Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews will chip seal the bridge deck on the Vickery Avenue East overpass in Pierce County Tuesday, Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Alternating one-way traffic will be in place during the work.

Night work on I-5 continues in Tacoma

As summer moves into a new month, contractor crews building high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) on Interstate 5 and State Route 16 in Tacoma are getting closer to finishing two of three HOV construction projects. The work involves several overnight lane, ramp and local street closures.

Night lane closures

  • Overnight single- and double-lane closures are scheduled for both directions of I-5 between 48th Street and the Puyallup River, and on both directions of SR 16 near South Sprague Avenue.

Night ramp closures
Monday, Aug. 13

  • All lanes of northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane near South 48th Street and detour using the northbound I-5 exit #132 to the northbound collector/distributor lane from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday. Traffic will detour to I-705, SR 509 to Portland Avenue or Port of Tacoma Road and back to northbound I-5.
  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday. Traffic will detour to southbound I-5 to South 56th Street and back to northbound I-5 through the detour route.
  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday, Aug. 14

  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday. Traffic will detour to southbound I-5 to South 56th Street and back to northbound I-5 through the detour route.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to southbound SR 7 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Northbound I-5 collector/distributor ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday, Aug. 15

  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday. Traffic will detour to southbound I-5 to South 56th Street and back to northbound I-5 through the detour route.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to southbound SR 7 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday.
  • Northbound I-5 collector/distributor ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday.
  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday.
  • Northbound I-5 exits #136A and #136B to 20th Street East and Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday.
  • Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday.

Thursday, Aug. 16

  • I-705 and SR 7 on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday.
  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday.
  • Northbound I-5 exits #136A and #136B to 20th Street East and Port of Tacoma Road will close from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday.
  • Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday.

Friday, Aug. 17

  • South 38th Street on-ramp to northbound SR 7 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • Northbound I-5 exits #136A and #136B to 20th Street East and Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday.
  • Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday.
  • Southbound I-5 exit #132A to South 38th Street will close from 11:59 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday.
  • Northbound I-5 exit #133 to I-705 and SR 7 will close from 11 p.m. to 12:01 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. This is an extended weekend closure. Drivers will detour using northbound I-5 exit #132.

Saturday, Aug. 18

  • Northbound I-5 exits #136A and #136B to 20th Street East and Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday.
  • Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday.
  • Southbound I-5 exit #132A to South 38th Street will close from 11:59 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday.

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


Temporary southbound I-5 configuration at SR 16 through 2018
Design build contactor Skanska has 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

  • 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 are 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

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

In early April 2018, contractor crews 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 while crews rebuild the overpass to accommodate a wider I-5. The new overpass is expected to reopen in fall 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. 

Pierce Transit SR 512 Park & Ride Construction
The SR 512 Park & Ride located at 10617 South Tacoma Way in Lakewood is closed until approximately September for repairs and improvements. During the project, Park & Ride stalls are closed.

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 has closed the Pacific Highway Bridge that spans the Puyallup River. The closure continues 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
City of Fife is underway 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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