These three “nickel” list projects widen State Route (SR) 16 from the Olympic Drive interchange in Gig Harbor to the Nalley Valley Viaduct in Tacoma. The Washington State Legislature approved $90.5 million for the three-part project in 2003, part of the nickel gas tax funding package.
Tri-State Construction of Bellevue was awarded the contract to widen State Route 16 from Union to Jackson avenues. Tri-State’s $47.3 million bid was the lowest among four proposals submitted.
Woodworth and Co. of Tacoma was awarded the $3.9 million contract to construct the Pierce County high occupancy vehicle (HOV) project from 36th Street to Olympic Drive in Gig Harbor.
In Fall 2005, Tri-State completed major construction on the first portion, widening between 6th and Jackson avenues in Tacoma.
Before summer 2007, the HOV lanes will open, ramp meters will direct drivers onto the highway and increased traveler information will be available to drivers. Unfortunately our wetter than normal weather may delay the project’s final pavement overlay into 2008. (July 2006 Construction Update)
Much of the new construction seen on SR 16 throughout this project actually completes the original SR 16 design concept. While it began in the early 1980s, the roadway, including what had been designed as the westbound lanes, was never completed due to funding constraints.
Both eastbound and westbound SR 16 traffic between Pearl Avenue and 12th Street has been traveling on what was intended to be the ultimate eastbound lanes. Completing these westbound lanes will increase safety.
When finished, this segment of SR 16 will provide greater traffic capacity that will result in faster and safer travel through the corridor and improved access to surrounding communities.
WSDOT's Tacoma/Pierce County Core HOV Program consists of 22 projects. The 38th Street Interchange on Interstate 5 was completed in November 2001. The Sprague Avenue Interchange to Snake Lake on SR 16 was completed in September 2002. For more information on the project, log on to www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/piercecountyhov/.