- This project completes the original design concept for SR 16 started in the early 1980s but never completed due to lack of funding. Portions of the ultimate westbound lanes were never completed. Consequently, all traffic on SR 16 between Pearl and 12th Street has been traveling on what was intended to be the ultimate eastbound lanes. Completing the ultimate westbound lanes will make this section of roadway safer and much more comfortable to drive.
- The new Center Street interchange will improve safety on SR 16 and improve the flow of traffic through the Center/Orchard area. The ramps will have longer acceleration and deceleration tapers to allow vehicles to safely enter and exit from SR 16.
- One HOV lane is constructed in each direction through the project limits.
- The curve on SR 16 near the Cheney Stadium will be rebuilt to current design standards for improved safety.
- Auxiliary lanes are constructed to give exiting and entering traffic a separate lane to mix and mingle without affecting through traffic on the two mainline lanes.
- A new frontage road is constructed at the 6th Avenue off-ramp to allow traffic heading north on Pearl Street to avoid the congested 6th/Pearl intersection.
- The project's design accommodates and improves bicycle and pedestrian traffic within the corridor by providing a separated trail (pdf 773 kb) along the SR 16 roadside.
- A tunnel is constructed for the multi-use trail under 19th Street. The tunnel will allow trail users to pass under the heavily traveled 19th Street.
- Retaining walls will be built to reduce the amount of right of way acquisition needed for the project.
- Noise walls will be constructed along four residential areas on SR 16, three east of the Narrows, and one on the west side.
What is WSDOT doing to ensure a safe work environment?
A safe work zone is one of WSDOT's highest priorities for everyone involved - workers and the traveling public alike. Contractors and WSDOT personnel are educated about workplace safety on a continuous basis through formal training, periodic safety meetings, impromptu "tailgate" meetings, and general reminders as needed. The public is advised to reduce speed and to be alert when driving through the construction work zone. Safety is everyone's responsibility, so Give 'em a BRAKE!
Workplace safety includes many facets:
- Reflective clothing to provide good visibility of workers to motorists
- Fall projection on elevated structures, such as harnesses and railings
- Head, foot, sight and hearing protection
- Worker awareness of construction equipment, properly functioning backup sirens
- Clear and consistent construction signing and traffic-control devices
- Advance notice of lane and ramp closures
How is the environment being protected?
There are two components to WSDOT's erosion control and water quality protection efforts: temporary measures during construction activities, and permanent measures for when the project is completed.
WSDOT incorporates "Best Management Practices" (BMPs) that treat the source of the problem to protect water quality and provide erosion control during construction. These BMPs include silt fences, straw bale dams, inlet filters are used to treat water at the site; and gravel and soil dams slow water runoff.
Permanent erosion control and water quality measures will be addressed with construction of drainage structures, swales, and infiltration ponds that collect and filter highway storm water run-off.
What is the landscaping plan for the Olympic View to Union Ave. project?
Formal landscaping is not part of the construction project, however, grass will be planted in areas where the soil has been disturbed as an erosion control measure. WSDOT is working to develop a corridor master plan for landscaping of SR 16. The master plan will be implemented in segments over the next several years as portions of the freeway widening are completed.
How can I get more information?
If you have questions, comments or if you'd like additional information about his project, please contact:
Dave Ziegler, Project Engineer
WSDOT Tacoma PEO
1614 South Mildred, Suite M
Tacoma, WA 98465
Phone: (253) 534-3100
Visit the project website (www.tacomanarrowsbridge.com) for information about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
For more information about the Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program contact:
Gordon Roycroft, Project Engineer
WSDOT Olympic Region HOV Design Office
P.O. Box 47445
Olympia, WA 98504-7445