See a larger project vicinity map
This is the existing I-5 alignment through downtown Tacoma. View larger photo
This photo is a computer-enhanced visualization of I-5 once the M Street to Portland project is complete.
Notice the extra bridge over I-705? It will accommodate northbound I-5 traffic. Current northbound lanes will be converted to an HOV facility for HOV traffic in both directions. This conversion will save taxpayers about $40 million instead of the cost to build a new HOV bridge. View larger photo
Why is WSDOT
building HOV lanes?
The Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program is a series of highway projects to provide operational improvements and high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes on Interstate 5, State Route 16, and State Route 167. Through Tacoma, heavy I-5 traffic creates frequent congestion in this area. HOV lanes will ensure that transit, vanpools and carpools can move efficiently through the corridor, especially when traffic is congested in the adjoining general-purpose lanes. This reliability tends to increase ridership in multi-passenger vehicles and thereby helps ease demand in the general-purpose lanes, making the overall highway system work better for everyone.
The project widens northbound and southbound I-5 to four general-purpose lanes and one additional HOV lane from M Street to Portland Avenue. To allow for the widened roadway, WSDOT will replace the Pacific Avenue and McKinley Way bridges over I-5, and build a new northbound I-5 bridge over the I-705 interchange. Other improvements include a new stormwater collection and treatment system, and replacement of all existing northbound and southbound pavement with new reinforced concrete. The project also replaces the illumination system and enhances the existing driver information systems including traffic cameras, variable message signs, and traffic-flow data systems.
The End Result
This part of the project demolishes and rebuilds Pacific Avenue and McKinley Way bridges spanning I-5. It builds a new northbound SR 7/I-705 bridge, and widens I-5 to accommodate northbound and southbound HOV lanes from M Street (milepost 132.84) to the vicinity of the L Street bridge (milepost 134.41).
New HOV lanes will open when adjacent projects are complete. In the interim, drivers will gain one additional general-purpose lane to ease congestion.
The project expands and improves the auxiliary lanes at the I-705 interchange to provide additional congestion relief. New concrete barrier will be constructed down the median of I-5, and on the roadside to protect drivers from fixed hazards.
Other project improvements will allow WSDOT to provide better traffic camera views, increased communication to motorists about traffic accidents and delays, and better traffic flow information to the public.
What is the project timeline?
Currently the project is being designed. Design work is scheduled to be complete in January 2014.
The project will go to advertisement in early 2014, with construction scheduled to begin in spring 2014. Once construction begins, the project will take about three years to build.
|Financial Data for PIN 300509M
||Amount ($ in thousands)
|2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding)
|2005 Gas Tax (TPA)
|Pre-Existing Funds (PEF)
Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.
How can I get more information?
Joseph Perez, P.E.
Design Project Engineer
Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program
Claudia Bingham Baker
WSDOT Olympic Region
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