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Tacoma Area Construction

Weekly overnight lane, ramp and street closures in Tacoma

Thursday, March 22
• Southbound I-5 exit to SR 16, I-705, SR 7 and 26th Street I-5 via the c/d will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday. Drivers will detour via southbound I-5 to the South 56th interchange to northbound I-5.
• Southbound SR 167 ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday.
• Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday.
• All lanes of northbound I-5 will detour through the Portland Avenue interchange and across the new Puyallup River Bridge from 11:59 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday. Law enforcement will be at the Portland Avenue intersection to assist with traffic control.
• South Tacoma Way between S. Pine and S. Wilkeson streets will close from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday.

Friday, March 23
• Southbound SR 167 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday.
• All lanes of southbound I-5 will detour through the southbound c/d lanes from 11:59 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday.
• Eastbound SR 16 ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday.
• South Tacoma Way between S. Pine and S. Wilkeson streets will close from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday, March 24
• South Tacoma Way between S. Pine and S. Wilkeson streets will close from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday.

Overnight closures of South Tacoma Way starting March 21
Contractor crews building direct connect HOV lanes between State Route 16 and Interstate 5 will close South Tacoma Way for several nights starting Wednesday, March 21 to set nine bridge girders, and to install safety deck and overhangs. Crews are setting 9 girders across South Tacoma Way during overnight hours from March 21-30.

During the overnight closures, drivers who use South Tacoma Way will be detoured to Center Street via South Wilkeson and South Pine streets. Local access will be maintained on South Tacoma Way between South Pine Street and South Sprague Avenue.

The overnight closure hours of South Tacoma Way are:
• Sunday – Thursday from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. each following day
• 11 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday
• 11 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday

South Tacoma Way overnight detour map for SR 16 HOV girder setting

Ramp meters on westbound State Route 16
In an effort to bring better merging and trip reliability, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, WSDOT began metering traffic entering westbound SR 16 from Sprague Avenue, Union Avenue, South Orchard Street and Pearl Street.

Ramp meters are traffic signals that operate according to real-time conditions on both the highway and the ramp. They help improve safety and reduce congestion at merge areas by providing consistent gaps between vehicles, rather than allowing multiple vehicles to flood the highway at once.

NB I-5 exit #133 reopened to traffic
Design-build contractor Skanska has moved northbound I-5 traffic onto a newly constructed northbound roadway near the Tacoma Mall and the SR 16 interchange. This shift allows drivers to access the Tacoma city center exit (#133) directly from northbound I-5.

New northbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge opens to ramp traffic
The new 1,569 foot northbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge opened to ramp traffic on Saturday, Oct. 28. Drivers who use the 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will cross the new 1,569 foot Puyallup River Bridge prior to merging with mainline I-5 traffic.
Drivers on northbound I-5 heading to the Port of Tacoma Road and 20th Street East will exit mainline I-5 south of the river and cross the new Puyallup River Bridge to reach the interchange. The new exit is approximately a half-mile south of the current exit.

View this new configuration on Flickr.

I-5 lanes in Tacoma move into new phase of construction 
SB I-5 traffic shift
Southbound I-5 in Tacoma has been reconfigured into two separate roadways. WSDOT created a video that gives drivers an idea of what to expect so you can plan ahead and not miss your exit. 

The temporary alignment will allow crews to replace the original concrete of I-5 and create a work zone to advance work on the new McKinley Street overpass. Detours will be provided for all ramp closures. WSDOT advises motorists to pay extra heed to the new lane alignments.

Access to westbound SR 16
Southbound I-5 drivers heading to SR 16 need to stay in the right lane past the Puyallup River Bridge to access the collector/distributor (C/D) lane that will take them to SR 16. If you miss the C/D, continue to 56th Street and turn back on northbound I-5 to exit #132.

Common Questions:

If I take the C/D instead of the through- lanes, can I still reach southbound I-5?

Answer: Yes, the C/D lanes will merge back onto southbound I-5 near S. 38th Street.

If I miss the C/D and need to get to SR 16 or I-705, where can I turn around?

Answer: If drivers miss the C/D, they can turn around at the S. 56th Street interchange and take the northbound I-5 exit 132 to either SR 16 or I-705.

Will drivers entering southbound I-5 at Portland Avenue go onto the C/D?

Answer: Drivers entering southbound I-5 from Portland Avenue will be directed onto the C/D and can rejoin southbound I-5 at S. 38th Street.

McKinley Way overpass being rebuilt

  • East McKinley Way at I-5 in Tacoma closed to all traffic so crews can rebuild the overpass to accommodate a wider I-5. The roadway isn't expected to reopen to traffic until late summer 2018.  Until the overpass is rebuilt, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will detour to the rebuilt Pacific Avenue overpass. Rebuilding both overpasses is part of the effort to expand I-5 HOV lanes into Tacoma. Crews recently installed the first nine girders on the new McKinley Way (East D Street) overpass, which will span Interstate 5. Watch a quick time lapse video taken on Nov. 30 of the girders going up on WSDOT's YouTube channel.

Slow down and Give ‘em a Brake
Drivers are advised to give themselves extra travel time and become familiar with current ramp closures and detour routes on Interstate 5 in Tacoma before heading out the door. If you're driving at night, please slow down in work zones and avoid distracted driving. Help keep our work crews safe. Slow down, pay attention, and stay calm. Work zones aren't there to personally inconvenience you. They're there to improve the roads for everyone. It’s a drivers’ own interest to be safe in work zones. Statewide, more than 96 percent of people injured in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians.