- This project is being delivered in two stages:
- Stage 1 is currently under way. Construction began in June 2012 and is expected to be complete in summer 2013.
- Stage 2 is scheduled for construction in summer 2013.
- Whether you're a local or interstate driver, this project improves your trips in the area. How?
- For additional information regarding public involvement, safety improvements, environmental protection and tribal impacts of this project, visit the Project Specifics page.
WSDOT will construct Collector Distributor (CD) lanes (.pdf, 141kb) between Mellen Street (Exit 81) and Harrison Avenue (Exit 82) interchanges. The CD lanes will improve safety by eliminating merging conditions between these interchanges and preserve mobility by separating local traffic from interstate traffic.
This project also makes safety improvements to the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges, and widens and realigns the I-5 curve at Blakeslee Junction.
Why is WSDOT
building this project?
I-5 is the most significant freight freeway on the West Coast, linking markets in Canada, the United States and Mexico and is critical to the regional, state and national economy. It also is the busiest commuter roadway in western Washington.
Sections of I-5 in Cowlitz and Lewis counties are still only two lanes in each direction, making congestion a problem in this area. Even minor incidents can result in significant traffic backups. The area's mobility and safety issues are expected to grow with anticipated traffic volume increases.
Improving this segment of I-5 will help address these issues, improve traffic flow through Lewis County, and benefit freight mobility in this significant corridor.
The End Result
Drivers will have safer, faster trips on I-5 and adjacent local roads.
Local drivers will be able to use the CD lanes to travel between Chehalis and Centralia without merging onto I-5. Interstate drivers won't have to slow down for merging traffic between Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue.
The new bridge over I-5 just south of Mellen Street will improve connectivity between I-5 and the local community, including the airport, hospital and college.
- Mobility: Increases roadway capacity and improves traffic flow between the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges.
- Safety: Reduces collisions by eliminating weave conditions between the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges.
- Economic: Encourages economic development in this area by improving freight mobility through Lewis County.
What is the project timeline?
- 2006: Project Scoping, Public Involvement, and Environmental Documentation began.
- 2010: Right-of-Way Acquisition and Permit Acquisition began.
- June 2012: Stage 1 construction began.
- Summer 2013: Stage 1 expected to be complete.
- Summer 2013: Stage 2 construction scheduled to begin.
- Late 2015: Entire project scheduled for completion.
Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.
Please see financial information on the main Web page for this series of projects.
How can I get more information?
Area Engineer Colin Newell
WSDOT Chehalis Project Office
1411 Rush Road
Chehalis, WA 98532
Phone: 360-740-8600, or toll-free 1-866-713-2412
PO Box 1709
Vancouver, WA 98668-1709
or access our project feedback form.
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