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Tacoma Area Construction

TACOMA TRAFFIC ALERT: Southbound I-5 and SR 16 in Tacoma reduced from 4 to 2 lanes the weekend of Aug. 26-29

I-5 paving in TacomaTwo big construction projects in Tacoma will reduce lanes on both southbound I-5 and SR 16 across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge the weekend of Aug. 26-29.

Southbound I-5 weekend lane closures:
From 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, crews will reduce southbound I-5 from four to two lanes between Portland Avenue and M Street for paving. Drivers can expect major congestion during the weekend construction.

Nearly 100,000 drivers use this portion of southbound I-5 everyday. Engineers estimate a large number of those vehicles need to find other ways to travel around the area in order to avoid major backups and delays.

The weekend-long lane closure will allow the contractor to replace nearly 1,200 feet of aging concrete that makes up the southbound I-5 lanes.

Repaving of SR 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridges begins Aug. 26: 
SR 16 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction at the Narrows over the weekends of Aug. 26 and Sept. 9. To keep traffic moving, the eastbound lanes of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge will be used to carry both eastbound and westbound traffic across the Narrows. The work is weather-dependent and could be rescheduled.

  • Reducing eastbound SR 16 to two lanes will occur in phases starting at 6 p.m. each Friday. The two westbound SR 16 lanes will be detoured (pdf 116 kb) onto the eastbound bridge. That shift will also occur in phases starting at 8 p.m. each Friday.Cross over map for SR 16
  • Crews will close the 24th Street on-ramp to eastbound SR 16 and the westbound SR 16 exit to 24th Street. The Jackson Street on-ramp to westbound SR 16 may also need to be closed. The ramps will be closed at 7 p.m. each Friday.
  • The highway speed limit will be temporarily reduced at the bridge over both weekends from 60 mph to 35 mph.
  • All lanes and ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. each following Monday morning.
  • Weeknight closure details: Nighttime eastbound lane closures between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, through Thursday, Sept. 1, as contractor crews repave the eastbound lanes of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The westbound bridge will be open to westbound traffic during that time. 

WSDOT needs drivers’ help to keep traffic moving smoothly through the weekend:
• Allow extra time to reach their destination.
• Consider delaying or reschedule discretionary trips.
• Travel early in the morning before 9 a.m. or later in the evening after 9 p.m.
• Use alternate routes.
• Choose an alternative travel mode, such as public transportation (transit, ferry, light rail or commuter rail), bicycling or carpooling.

Additional night construction in Tacoma 

Lane closures
1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26
All lanes of northbound I-5 near South 38th Street will be routed onto the parallel northbound I-5 collector/distributor and detoured via either State Route 7 or Interstate 705.

Drivers may encounter additional weeknight single- and double-lane closures in both directions of I-5 between Port of Tacoma Road and M Street. Single-lane closures begin at 8 p.m. Double-lane closures begin at 10 p.m. Triple-lane closures begin at 11:59 p.m. All lanes reopen by 6 a.m. the following morning.

Ramp closures
Monday, Aug. 22
• 10 p.m.
o Southbound I-5 exit to City Center/South SR 7 until 6 a.m. the next day
o East 27th Street on-ramp to southbound I-5 until 6 a.m. the next day
o Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 until 6 a.m. the next day

Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 23-24
• 11 p.m.
o Northbound I-5 collector-distributor exit to northbound I-705 and southbound SR 7 will close until 4 a.m. each following day.
o I-705 on-ramps to southbound SR 7 and northbound I-5 until 4 a.m. each following day.

Thursday, Aug. 25
• 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day
o Northbound I-5 collector-distributor exit to northbound I-705 and southbound SR 7
o I-705 on-ramps to southbound SR 7 and northbound I-5 until 4 a.m.

Re-route of I-5 exit to 26th Street/Tacoma Dome underway through September

A temporary re-route is in place for drivers who use the 26th Street/Tacoma Dome exit from the northbound I-5 collector/distributor. Those drivers are temporarily being detoured to southbound SR 7, to 38th Street, and loop around back to northbound SR 7.

Drivers using the northbound I-5 collector/distributor to I-705 are able to continue to downtown Tacoma, however they will not be able to reach the 26th Street exit. Drivers using the SR 7 ramp are able to exit to 26th Street/Tacoma Dome and continue to northbound I-705.

The temporary configuration will remain in effect through September.
New Pacific Avenue overpass opens in Tacoma; East McKinley Way overpass is closed

  • A key route into and out of downtown Tacoma is now open. The new Pacific Avenue bridge at Interstate 5 has opened to one lane of traffic in each direction. The overpass is also open for use by bicyclists and pedestrians. Crews will continue work to complete the overpass. The bridge ultimately will have a four-lane configuration, a 6-foot-wide sidewalk and a 14-foot-wide shared-use path.
  • East McKinley Way at I-5 is closed to all traffic. The closure will allow crews to demolish and rebuild the overpass. The closure will be in effect around the clock and is expected to last up to 18 months. During that time, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will detour to Pacific Avenue.

Alternate route for eastbound SR 16 drivers going to northbound I-5

Tired of backups on eastbound SR 16 heading toward northbound I-5? Try this alternate route, which uses the SR 7 U-turn at South 38th Street.  We've clocked it, and when backups at the merge are heavy this will take you about half the time! Just make sure that as you're heading up the hill on SR 7, take the route to South 38th Street east (not west).

Alternate northbound I-5 map