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Construction in the Tacoma area

Two week ramp closure in Tacoma begins May 30

Following Memorial Day, crews have scheduled a series of ramp and lane closures to continue progress on two Interstate 5 HOV projects in the Tacoma area.

The closures include an upcoming two-week around-the-clock closure of the northbound I-5 exit to southbound State Route 7 while crews build a retaining wall. The exit will close at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 30. The ramp closure will remain in place for at least two weeks. A signed detour will direct motorists to SR 7 via Interstate 705 and State Route 509. Access from northbound I-5 to I-705 will not be affected. In addition to the new two-week ramp closure, motorists are advised to expect the following closures.

Continued ramp closures
Northbound SR 7 on-ramp to southbound I-5 through early 2016
A Street on-ramp to northbound I- 705/I-5 through project completion

Night ramp closures

Tuesday, May 26
Southbound I-705 exit to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Portland Avenue/E. 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 27
Portland Avenue/E. 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. Thursday.
From 10 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, the following ramps will close:
Southbound I-705 exit to southbound I-5
Pacific Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5
Southbound I-5 exit to westbound State Route 16/South 38th Street
Drivers for the above closure will detour via South 56th Street

Thursday, May 28
Southbound I-705 exit to southbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday.

Friday, May 29
Portland Avenue/E. 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 12:01 a.m. until 4 a.m.

Saturday, May 30
12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m., the southbound I-705 exit to southbound I-5 will close.
Portland Avenue/E. 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 12:01 a.m. until 6 a.m.
New ramp closure mentioned in lede: Northbound I- 5 exit to southbound SR 7 will close at 12:01 a.m. The ramp closure will be in place around the clock for at least two weeks.

Night lane closures
In addition, drivers can expect overnight single and double-lane closures in segments of both northbound and southbound I-5 between M Street and Port of Tacoma Road.

City Streets
From 10 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 7 a.m. Saturday, May 30, drivers will encounter a closure of East Bay Street between East 27th Street and East 28th Street. Drivers will follow a signed detour.

New I-5 ramp meters aim to bring congestion relief to Pierce, Thurston counties

Traffic may soon move a little more smoothly along 15 miles of Interstate 5 between Lacey and Tacoma with the help of several new ramp meters, traffic signals that manage the flow of vehicles merging onto the highway.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will activate new ramp meters at 11 interchanges (pdf 144 kb) near Joint Base Lewis-McChord where traffic routinely slows to a crawl during the morning and afternoon commute. WSDOT will activate the new meters at these interchanges as soon as Monday, May 18.

“Ramp meters are a proven, cost-effective approach to reducing freeway congestion and collisions, and provide drivers a better, more reliable trip,” said WSDOT Olympic Region Administrator Kevin Dayton.

The new ramp meters, traffic cameras, and variable-message and travel-time signs are part of a federally funded project specifically designed to help alleviate congestion through this corridor by installing intelligent transportation systems (ITS) tools to better manage traffic.

The newly installed ramp meters are located on these on-ramps:

  • Mounts Road to southbound I-5;
  • Center Drive to northbound and southbound I-5;
  • Steilacoom/DuPont Road to northbound and southbound I-5;
  • JBLM main gate to northbound and southbound I-5;
  • Berkeley Street to northbound and southbound I-5;
  • Thorne Lane to southbound I-5;
  • Gravelly Lake Drive to northbound and southbound I-5;
  • Bridgeport Way to northbound and southbound I-5; 
  • State Route 512 to southbound I-5.

WSDOT previously installed and activated meters at these locations along I-5, and they will be tied into the above meters:

  • Marvin Road to northbound I-5;
  • Nisqually to northbound I-5;
  • Mounts Road to northbound I-5.

Ramp meters are traffic signals that operate according to real-time conditions on both the freeway and the ramps. They help reduce congestion by providing timed intervals between vehicles, rather than allowing multiple vehicles to enter the freeway at once. Studies show that ramp meters reduce collisions by as much as 30 percent.


Extended closure of Pacific Avenue overpass in Tacoma underway

The Pacific Avenue overpass at Interstate 5 in Tacoma is closed around the clock, through March 2016. Depending on the weather, the overpass could be closed longer. During the closure, the over pass will be demolished and rebuilt as part of WSDOT's I-5 - M Street to Portland Avenue - HOV project. All Pacific Avenue traffic has been detoured. If all goes according to schedule, in March 2016 the Pacific Avenue overpass will reopen to two lanes - one lane of traffic in each direction. Two months later in May, 2016, all lanes will reopen over the new Pacific Avenue overpass. 

Pacific Avenue detour map

Around the clock ramp closures

  • The northbound SR 7 on-ramp to southbound I-5 remains closed until early 2016 for bridge construction.
  • The A-Street on-ramp to northbound I-5/southbound SR 7 remains closed until spring 2017 for bridge construction.

Around the clock road closures

Long-term closure of 20th Street East in Fife in place through 2017

A segment of 20th Street East in Fife is closed. The road closure and detour will be in place, until spring 2017.  The road closure is needed while crews build a new northbound Interstate 5 bridge over the Puyallup River. The bridge, which will be built adjacent to the existing northbound I-5 bridge, will be wider and straighter than the existing bridge, and will feature a new northbound high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. Other improvements will also be made on I-5 between Portland Avenue in Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma Road in Fife.


Tips for Driving Through Work Zones

  • Pay attention - driver inattention is the number one cause of work zone accidents.
  • Leave room between you and the car ahead of you - most work zone accidents involve someone running into the car ahead of them. Drive defensively - be aware of what is happening around you.
  • Merge into the proper lane before you reach the work zone.
  • Don't use cell phones or adjust your radio while driving through the work zone.

Summer construction season map for Pierce county (pdf 443kb)

Want to see WSDOT construction efforts? Take a look at the Construction Season Projects Map.

Weekly construction and traffic updates for the Olympic region

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Check out WSDOT on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and the WSDOT Blog

For more information on these projects, please contact WSDOT Olympic Region Communications staff during office hours at 360-357-2789 or by emailing