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I-5 - SR 510 to SR 512 Congestion Management

Design
Thumbnail image of congestion improvements on I-5 between SR 510 to SR 512
 
Click image to see larger map
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I-5 Auxiliary lane between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Avenue
 
The new southbound I-5 auxiliary lane between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street opened on Thursday, Dec. 5.




New southbound I-5 Thorne to Berkeley auxiliary lane
The new southbound I-5 auxiliary lane between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street as seen while under construction.

Status

August 2014

  
  • Crews have created a temporary construction workzone in the center median of I-5 near Bridgeport Way in Lakewood. The construction zone will allow crews to build foundations for new sign bridges that will support variable message signs, which are electronic signs that provide motorists with information about traffic congestion and roadway incidents.
  • In this project, WSDOT will install "intelligent transportation systems (ITS)" devices between State Routes 510 and 512 that help WSDOT manage traffic and communicate real-time traffic conditions to the public. The devices to be installed include:
  • 17 ramp meters
  • 7 closed-circuit traffic cameras
  • 3 variable-message signs and supporting electronic hardware
  • Travel time signs and data stations


 

Why is WSDOT adding "smart highway" devices along I-5 between Lacey and Lakewood? 
To help address increasing traffic volumes and longer hours of congestion seen along this corridor, WSDOT is making short-term, medium-term and long-term improvements. This medium-term project will add electronic hardware that will allow WSDOT to better manage traffic, and to communicate traffic conditions to the public. 

The End Result
For the short term, WSDOT’s working relationship with the leadership at JBLM – forged over a decade of innovate, cost-effective measures – was the key to unlocking the immediate northbound, morning traffic problem.

In 2010, the two agencies formed the Traffic Circulation Committee – an operations planning team comprised of leaders from JBLM, WSDOT, Washington State Patrol and local municipalities.

The team collectively works together to identify solutions to transportation issues in and around the installation by creating a holistic traffic and gate plan with decision points, milestones, resourcing required, risks, etc. This is all done under the strategy of Moving Washington.

Ensuring that we are Moving Washington through this busy corridor is an ongoing effort.


Project Benefits
The cameras and ramp meters along the 11-mile stretch of Interstate 5 between Marvin Road in Lacey and Berkeley Street in Lakewood allow WSDOT to manage traffic demand. From a central traffic management center WSDOT staff use the camera images to keep apprised of state highways.

The images are used to call out emergency personnel, report traffic conditions through highway signs and radio messages, and monitor flow. They are the same images you can use to know before you go.

Ramp meters manage traffic demand by controlling the number of cars that merge onto I-5 when congestion is heavy. This will help keep mainline I-5 moving.

The new technology will also allow the WSDOT Travel Alerts page for Olympia to offer travel times for Olympia to Tacoma.

What is the project timeline?
WSDOT completed the ITS Fiber Improvements project in November 2013. This project installed and expanded 16 miles of fiber optic cable to create the ITS infrastructure needed to operate new "smart highway" devices.

Crews began installing "smart highway" devices that help WSDOT manage traffic and communicate traffic conditions to the public in September 2013. Crews also began building an auxiliary lane on southbound I-5 between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street. The new lane opened in December 2013.

Background work is ongoing and planning studies are underway to define long-term improvements to the corridor.

A 2010 study led by the City of Lakewood, WSDOT and JBLM with participants from a range of partners was funded by the Office of Economic Adjustment and the Department of Defense. The study laid the groundwork to move to the next phase which develops solutions for long-term needs.

The innovative management of the Traffic Circulation Committee - JBLM, WSDOT and its partners - continue to look for opportunities to improve or reduce congestion in the corridor.

Financial Information

This project is funded from the following sources:

Financial Data for PIN 300596T - WINs C00596T; C00596U; C77796T
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $5,194
Tiger III - Federal Funds $10,727
Total $15,921

How can I get more information?
Contact:
Kim Mueller, P.E.
WSDOT Project Engineer
253-365-6750

Claudia Bingham Baker
WSDOT Communications Manager
360-357-2789

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