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2014 Construction in the Tacoma area

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 

Want to see WSDOT construction efforts? Take a look at the 2013/2014 Construction Season Projects Map

I-5 - M Street to Portland Avenue – HOV

Crews are gearing up to begin a three year project on Interstate 5 in Tacoma. The work will lay the foundation for new HOV lanes roughly between M Street and L Street in Tacoma. Check the project page for detour routes during the staged demolition of the Pacific Avenue and McKinley Way (D Street) overpasses. Drivers, residents, and business owners can also sign up for email updates about the project.

Work on Eastbound Nalley Valley project continues

At 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30, crews will close the South 38th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 and the City Center for striping. The ramp will reopen by 4 a.m. Thursday, July 31.

At 11 p.m. on Thursday, crews will close two ramps:

• South 38th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 and the City Center; and
• northbound I-5 exit (#133) to the City Center.

Signed detours will be provided for the closed ramps. Both ramps will reopen by 4 a.m. Friday, August 1.

SR 16 Olympic Drive overpass work scheduled

Work to repair the State Route 16 Olympic Drive overpass will get underway. The overpass was struck and damaged by an over-height load in 2013.

Beginning Monday, August 4, motorists will encounter weeknight single-lane closures on west and eastbound SR 16 approaching Olympic Drive NW, and on Olympic Drive NW itself. For the first few weeks, construction crews will install temporary striping, guardrail and signs.

The westbound SR 16 lane closures are scheduled Monday through Friday, August 4-8, between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Eastbound SR 16 lane closures are scheduled for the same nights between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. Olympic Drive NW itself will be reduced to two lanes, one lane in each direction, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

This project will continue through the end of the year, and will involve at least four full, overnight closures of westbound and eastbound SR 16. Traffic will keep moving during the full closures by using the Olympic Drive NW off- and on-ramps. The Washington State Department of Transportation will announce these full closures when they are scheduled.

WSDOT is repairing the damaged bridge girder by installing a new girder on the westbound half of the bridge. In addition to restoring the integrity of the overpass, the westbound lanes of SR 16 will be restriped to gain just over two inches of vertical clearance, and new overhead signs will be installed.

The intention of the Washington State Department of Transportation is to recoup costs to the agency resulting from the girder damage and repairs from the responsible party.

Routine Tacoma Narrows Bridge inspection narrows multi-use path, closes lane and shoulder

TACOMA – Equipment required for a routine bridge inspection could create some impacts for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians traveling on the eastbound State Route 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge next week.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, August 4-7, Washington State Department of Transportation bridge preservation crews will use two specialized Under-Bridge-Inspection-Trucks (UBITS). The trucks extend crew carriers over the side of the bridge to allow inspectors to get an up close look under the bridge deck. The UBITS will be stationed at two locations on the bridge’s multi-use sidewalk.

WSDOT maintenance crews will be available to assist pedestrians through the work zones. Any bicyclists using the multi-use trail will be asked to dismount before passing through the work zones.

Motorists should expect to encounter a right lane and shoulder closure in the eastbound direction. Traffic backups are expected to be minimal.

This routine bridge inspection is conducted every two years.

Center Drive ramp closures begin two hours early Tuesday and Wednesday

The Center Drive on-ramp closures to northbound Interstate 5 scheduled tonight and tomorrow will begin two hours earlier than previously announced. During the closures, drivers will use alternate routes.

Ramp closure schedule:

8 p.m. Tuesday, July 29 to 4 a.m. Wednesday, July 30
8 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 to 4 a.m. Thursday, July 31
10 p.m. Thursday, July 31 to 4 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1

The northbound I-5 Mounts Road weigh station will also close each night for the same hours the ramps are closed.

The closures are necessary while crews finish work on the one-lane access road from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) to Center Drive.

Once the ramp work is completed, drivers using the Center Drive on-ramp to northbound I-5 will be able to take a free left turn, while a new stop sign will provide traffic control for JBLM drivers. 

Revisions to the Center Drive interchange are one of several improvements that WSDOT and its regional partners are working on to help reduce traffic congestion along I-5. 

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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