The projects below are being highlighted because they are either in urbanized travel areas or will have unusual impacts to traffic. For more information on these projects, please contact WSDOT Olympic Region Communications staff during office hours at 360-357-2789 or by emailing email@example.com.
Motorists are being asked to start considering alternate routes before a major traffic revision takes place during a dry weekend in January on eastbound State Route 16 in Tacoma. The work is related to the reconstruction of the Nalley Valley viaduct.
The Washington State Department of Transportation wants to give motorists an early heads up about that weekend. The work requires unusual daytime lane closures as well as typical . Those daytime closures could back up traffic to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which is 6 miles away.
Work of this magnitude is typically scheduled at night to minimize impacts to drivers. However, once crews start this phase of the project, they must continue until it’s complete. The situation equals crews working through the entire weekend. Specifically, crews will excavate and rebuild a section of eastbound SR 16. The work must be complete before crews can fully reopen the lanes in this area.
WSDOT won’t be able to narrow down exact dates until there is a solid forecast, but there is a strong possibility the work will take place during a weekend in early January. This specific part of the project is weather-dependent since it includes paving and roadway striping. WSDOT will announce specific details when a firm date has been established.
WSDOT encourages drivers to start considering how they may avoid traveling this section of eastbound SR 16 during the work, including adjusting travel schedules, taking alternate routes or perhaps delaying or eliminating discretionary trips.
Keep traffic moving
WSDOT will do everything possible to keep traffic moving during the weekend lane restrictions, including opening the eastbound SR 16 HOV lane to all motorists. The HOV restriction will resume once the work is complete.
Incident Response Teams will be on duty to clear incidents and stalled vehicles that worsen backups.
Tools for drivers
Tacoma area traffic website with updated travel information, real-time traffic maps and travel times.
Mobile apps for cell phones and other wireless devices:
Follow WSDOT on Twitter: twitter.com/WSDOT_tacoma for traffic.
Call 5-1-1 for traffic updates
Watch for highway advisory radio flashing lights and signs and electronic highway signs for information.
Get project updates at Tacomatraffic.com
Subscribe to WSDOT traffic alerts
The new auxiliary lane on southbound Interstate 5 between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Avenue in Lakewood opened at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, Dec. 5.
The auxiliary lane had been scheduled to open last week. The opening was delayed due to weather conditions, as crews were unable to restripe the roadway into its final configuration. Because of cold weather, crews will apply temporary roadway striping tonight. Workers will return at a later date to apply the permanent markings.
The new auxiliary lane will increase the number of southbound I-5 lanes from three to four between the two ramps, giving drivers more room to merge on and off I-5 along that busy stretch of highway. It is the first step in a larger improvement to alleviate southbound backups at the exit altogether. Eventually, the city of Lakewood will add a second left-turn lane at the ramp and widen the Freedom Bridge overpass to improve access to Madigan Hospital.
Editor’s note: The new auxiliary lane on southbound Interstate 5 between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Avenue in Lakewood will open at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, Dec. 5.
Weather permitting, drivers will have a new auxiliary lane on
southbound Interstate 5 between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Avenue in Lakewood starting at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27.
The new auxiliary lane increases the number of southbound I-5 lanes from three to four between the two ramps, giving drivers more room to merge on and off I-5 along that busy stretch of highway. This new auxiliary lane gives drivers an area off mainline I-5 to wait for their turn at the signal.
It is the first step in a larger improvement to alleviate the southbound backups at the exit altogether. Eventually, the city of Lakewood will add a second left-turn lane at the ramp and widen the Freedom Bridge overpass to improve access to Madigan Hospital.
Increases in traffic congestion prompted WSDOT and local city, county, and JBLM officials to refocus on highway improvements along the I-5 corridor. Over the past decade, populations in Thurston and Pierce counties have grown exponentially and numerous big employers have moved into the area. While populations increased, the interstate steadily approached capacity.
In addition to the new auxiliary lane, WSDOT is in the process of installing new ramp meters, travel time signs and data stations, closed-circuit traffic cameras and variable-message signs along I-5 between State Routes 510 and 512 in Thurston and Pierce counties. These communication devices not only help WSDOT manage traffic, but they provide real-time traffic information to the public. Other efforts to improve highway operations are also underway.
Work to retrofit the Interstate 705/State Route 7 interchange to better withstand an earthquake will require both short-term and long-term ramp closures and lane reductions starting next week.
To complete this work, contractor crews have closed the A Street on-ramp and reduced southbound I-705 from three lanes to two through March, 2014. These long-term closures will give crews the space they need to access the bridge columns underneath the heavily traveled interchange.
This project cleans and paints the steel framework of both Nisqually River bridges on I-5 in Thurston county. The fresh coat of paint will help prevent future corrosion to the steel, preserve the bridges' structural integrity, and prolong the life of the bridges.
Motorists can expect alternating right and left single northbound and southbound lane closures between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. each weeknight. Double-lane closures begin at 11 p.m. and last until 4 a.m. On Fridays, the single lane closure will begin at 11 p.m. and continue until 7 a.m. Saturdays.
This project builds a new eastbound SR 16 viaduct over Nalley Valley, completes Sprague Avenue interchange.
- Daily single-lane closures will occur between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. each weekday on South Center Street, South Tacoma Way, and South Sprague Avenue.
This project improves safety and eases congestion by adding lanes and managing access.
Location: Both directions of SR 161 from 24th Street to Milton Way, mileposts 32 to 34.
Crews working from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Expect short term traffic stops for trucks entering and exiting the roadway. Some lanes may be temporarily restriped to accommodate the construction zone. Paving will begin in the widened areas.
Travel planning tools:
Summer construction season map for Pierce county (pdf 307kb)
Weekly construction and traffic updates for the Olympic region
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