Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703
TACOMA – Drivers who use the northbound Interstate 5 exit to Tacoma’s city center (exit 133) will soon have to take a different route to reach downtown Tacoma, I-705 and State Route 7.
In mid-April, contractor crews building HOV connections between I-5 and SR 16 will close the exit around the clock through late 2017, and detour traffic onto the northbound exit to SR 16 and the Tacoma Mall (exit 132). The Washington State Department of Transportation created a video that provides a driver’s perspective on how the detour will work.
“The detour is straightforward, but we expect some backups to occur during peak commute hours,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Gaius Sanoy. “We’re asking commuters to plan ahead or take alternate routes if possible.”
During the closure, crews will build new northbound lanes, a new northbound I-5 bridge and a new northbound I-5 off-ramp to Tacoma’s city center. They will also start building new HOV lanes for both eastbound and westbound SR 16 traffic merging to I-5.
This project is the third of three designed to improve the I-5/SR 16 interchange and provide a direct connection of HOV lanes between the two highways. WSDOT and the design-build team Skanska and WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff produced a second video that gives drivers a better understanding of the overall project.