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Tacoma area construction

Changes coming to southbound I-5 lanes in Fife
Travelers who use southbound Interstate 5 will soon see changes to lane designations approaching 54th Avenue East in Fife.

Over the weekend of Sept. 7, Washington State Department of Transportation striping crews shortened the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane restriction so it opens to all traffic further north, near the Fife curve.

Work scheduled during overnight hours of Saturday, Sept. 15 to designate the right lane of southbound I-5 as an exit only to 54th Avenue East has been cancelled due to weather and will be rescheduled at a later date.

This temporary striping change will remain in place until the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Southbound HOV project is complete. The design-build project will begin in early 2019. Drivers are encouraged to plan extra time as they travel through the work zones. 

Daytime closure of SR 7 ramp in Tacoma continues
Contractor crews finishing the I-5 M Street to Portland Avenue HOV project will continue to close the southbound I-5 ramp to SR 7 during daytime hours from Monday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 21 for stormpond work.

The closure will begin each day after the morning commute at 9 a.m. and will be in place until 3 p.m. The ramp will reopen for the late afternoon and evening commute. The adjacent southbound I-5 ramp to I-705 will remain open.

This daytime ramp closure will be implemented as needed through the remainder of 2018. The Washington State Department of Transportation will announce future daytime closures as are scheduled.

Tacoma/Pierce County HOV construction schedule
Night lane closures

  • Overnight single- and double-lane closures are scheduled for both directions of Interstate 5 between South 48th Street in Tacoma and Fife, and on both directions of State Route 16 near South Sprague Avenue. 

Overnight lane and ramp closures
Monday, Sept. 17

  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18.
  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close at 11 p.m. and will reopen by 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18. Drivers will detour to southbound I-5 to South 56th Street and back to northbound I-5.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18
  • Northbound SR 7 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.
  • Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to I-705, SR 7 and 26th Street will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.
  • Southbound SR 167 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Tuesday, Sept. 18

  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.
  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close at 11 p.m. and will reopen by 4 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19. Drivers will detour to southbound I-5 to South 56th Street and back to northbound I-5.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.
  • South 38th Street on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19
  • Northbound SR 7 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to I-705, SR 7 and 26th Street will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.
  • Southbound SR 167 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.
  • Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Wednesday, Sept. 19

  • Bay Street ramp to northbound SR 167 will close from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close at 11 p.m. and will reopen by 4 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. Drivers will detour to southbound I-5 to South 56th Street and back to northbound I-5.
  • East 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20
  • Northbound SR 7 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to I-705, SR 7 and 26th Street will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
  • Southbound SR 167 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
  • Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.

Thursday, Sept. 20

  • Southbound I-5 exit to Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21.
  • Southbound I-705 and A Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 and southbound SR 7 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21.
  • Southbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane and detoured through the South 38th Street exit #132A, and back to southbound I-5 from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21.

Friday, Sept. 21

  • Southbound I-705 and A Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 and southbound SR 7 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
  • Southbound I-5 exit to Port of Tacoma Road will close from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

Why are these closures necessary?

The contractors widening I-5 in Tacoma to build new HOV lanes are working in very tight work zones. We allow contractor crews to close lanes and ramps at night when traffic volumes are lower. Often times the crews are mobilizing large pieces of equipment or bringing in several large trucks to haul out material or bring in new material. It's more efficient for these trucks to enter and exit the work zones at night with lower traffic volumes.

Major milestone: New northbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge opens to traffic
Crews working for WSDOT to build the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Northbound HOV project have reached an important milestone in WSDOT’s ongoing efforts to extend HOV lanes into Pierce County. All travelers on northbound I-5 are now driving across the new Puyallup River Bridge. Moving all traffic onto the new bridge marks the project’s final major stage of construction. The project is expected to finish later this year. You can view photos of this project on the WSDOT Flickr account.

Temporary southbound I-5 configuration at SR 16 through 2018
Design build contactor Skanska has moved all lanes of southbound I-5 onto a new temporary lane configuration. Here is what drivers need to know about this temporary traffic shift:

Southbound I-5 to westbound SR 16

  • Drivers on southbound I-5 headed to westbound SR 16 will merge to the right between Pacific Avenue and Yakima Avenue to reach the exit to SR 16. This is the same location where drivers currently merge. We mention this because you won't be able to merge over to westbound SR 16 at the last minute. Drivers who miss SR 16 exit can continue on southbound I-5 and exit at S. 56th Street east to northbound I-5 to SR 16.

Eastbound SR 16, I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue to southbound I-5
Travelers on eastbound SR 16 and in downtown Tacoma headed to southbound I-5 will also experience a change in their normal route.

  • Drivers heading to southbound I-5 from I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue are directed onto the South 38th Street exit, and will rejoin southbound I-5 near South 48th Street via the collector/distributor.
  • Eastbound SR 16 travelers headed to the Tacoma Mall will not be able to exit to westbound South 38th Street. Drivers will be directed via southbound I-5 and exit at South 56th Street, and will be routed back north to westbound South 38th Street. See detour map below:

 Eastbound SR 16 to S 38th Street west detour

May 2018 SB I-5 traffic switch graphic

View image on Flickr.

This traffic shift creates a new workzone so crews can begin demolishing and rebuilding southbound I-5 at the SR 16 interchange. Crews will also build the connecting HOV lanes between I-5 and SR 16. The temporary configuration is expected to remain in place through 2018.

Changes for the Eastbound SR 16 and S. 38th Street merge to northbound I-5

In early April 2018, contractor crews reduced the State Route 16 approach to northbound Interstate 5 to a single lane. This temporary change allows construction crews access to a workzone while they continue work on the project.

This ramp configuration has been in place previously and has caused delays. This temporary configuration will be in place through fall 2018 while crews finish the project. To help eastbound SR 16 and S. 38th Street travelers bypass some of the anticipated backups, WSDOT encourages drivers to try an alternate route that uses SR 7. More information about this route is available on WSDOT’s YouTube video.

Travelers who use the ramp may want to plan extra time into their commute.

McKinley Way overpass being rebuilt

  • East McKinley Way at I-5 in Tacoma closed to all traffic while crews rebuild the overpass to accommodate a wider I-5. The new overpass is expected to reopen in fall 2018.  Until the overpass is rebuilt, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will detour to the rebuilt Pacific Avenue overpass. Rebuilding both overpasses is part of the effort to expand I-5 HOV lanes into Tacoma. 

Pierce Transit SR 512 Park & Ride Construction
The SR 512 Park & Ride located at 10617 South Tacoma Way in Lakewood is closed until approximately September for repairs and improvements. During the project, Park & Ride stalls are closed.

Transit customers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead. Details on alternative parking locations can be found online at: https://www.piercetransit.org/SR512/

City of Tacoma Puyallup River Bridge Replacement Project
The City of Tacoma has closed the Pacific Highway Bridge that spans the Puyallup River. The closure continues through February 2019. During the closure, contractor crews will remove and replace the 1927 bridge.

For additional information on the project, please contact City of Tacoma project manager Chris Storey at 253-573-2484, or visit the city's project web page.

I-5 - Port of Tacoma Interchange Improvement Project
City of Fife is underway Phase 1 of this project, which brings road, interchange and intersection improvements to the Port of Tacoma.

For more information on this project, please contact Fife Public Works at 253-922-9315, or visit the city's project web page.

Slow down and Give ‘em a Brake
Drivers are advised to give themselves extra travel time and become familiar with current ramp closures and detour routes on Interstate 5 in Tacoma before heading out the door. If you're driving at night, please slow down in work zones and avoid distracted driving. Help keep our work crews safe. Slow down, pay attention, and stay calm. Work zones aren't there to personally inconvenience you. They're there to improve the roads for everyone. It’s a drivers’ own interest to be safe in work zones. Statewide, more than 96 percent of people injured in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians.

 
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