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I-5 - Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction

Construction Phase
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Projects in this area:
I-5, Blakeslee Junction to Grand Mound


April 2017


WSDOT will construct Collector Distributor (CD) lanes (.pdf, 141kb) between Mellen Street (Exit 81) and Harrison Avenue (Exit 82) interchanges. The CD lanes will improve safety by eliminating merging conditions between these interchanges and preserve mobility by separating local traffic from interstate traffic.

This project also makes safety improvements to the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges, and widens and realigns the I-5 curve at Blakeslee Junction.

Why is WSDOT building this project?
I-5 is the most significant freight freeway on the West Coast, linking markets in Canada, the United States and Mexico and is critical to the regional, state and national economy. It also is the busiest commuter roadway in western Washington. 

Sections of I-5 in Cowlitz and Lewis counties are still only two lanes in each direction, making congestion a problem in this area. Even minor incidents can result in significant traffic backups. The area's mobility and safety issues are expected to grow with anticipated traffic volume increases. 

Improving this segment of I-5 will help address these issues, improve traffic flow through Lewis County, and benefit freight mobility in this significant corridor.

The End Result
Drivers will have safer, faster trips on I-5 and adjacent local roads.

Local drivers will be able to use the CD lanes to travel between Chehalis and Centralia without merging onto I-5. Interstate drivers won't have to slow down for merging traffic between Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue.

The new bridge over I-5 just south of Mellen Street will improve connectivity between I-5 and the local community, including the airport, hospital and college.

Project Benefits

  • Mobility: Increases roadway capacity and improves traffic flow between the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges.
  • Safety: Reduces collisions by eliminating weave conditions between the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges.
  • Economic: Encourages economic development in this area by improving freight mobility through Lewis County.

What is the project timeline?

  • 2006: Project Scoping, Public Involvement, and Environmental Documentation began.
  • 2010: Right-of-Way Acquisition and Permit Acquisition began.
  • June 2012: Stage 1 construction began.
  • Summer 2013: Stage 1 expected to be complete.
  • August 2013: Stage 2 construction began.
  • Late 2014: Mellen Street couplet and Louisiana Avenue-Airport Road connection scheduled for completion.
  • 2016: Entire project scheduled for completion.

Financial Information

Please see financial information on the main Web page for this series of projects.

How can I get more information?
Chuck Meade
WSDOT Project Engineer
Phone: 360-740-8600, or toll-free 1-866-713-2412

Bart Treece
WSDOT Communications
Phone: 360-905-2058


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