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Tacoma Area Construction

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. 

Interstate 5 traffic shift in Tacoma summer 2017
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.

Southbound I-5 ramp meters in Fife and Tacoma
Starting Tuesday, July 18, the Washington State Department of Transportation will activate ramp meters for the first time at the following ramps:
•54th Avenue East to southbound I-5
•Port of Tacoma Road to southbound I-5
•East Bay Street to southbound I-5
•Portland Avenue to southbound I-5 

Once activated, WSDOT will monitor the ramp meters and make adjustments to the timing as necessary. 

Weekly HOV ramp and lane closure schedule

  • Signed detours will be provided for all ramp closures.
  • Overnight drivers heading to I-705, SR 7 and SR 16 via the southbound collector/distributor (C/D) will be detoured to the S. 56th Street interchange to northbound I-5 and exit #132.
  • Additional overnight single- and double-lane closures on both directions of I-5 between Port of Tacoma Road and the Tacoma Mall are scheduled multiple nights next week between the hours of 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day. The work is weather dependent. 

Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28
The following ramps and streets will close:

  • 20th Street East in Fife between PraxAir and Pacific Highway will close from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each following day.
  • Southbound SR 167 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.
  • Southbound I-5 C/D lanes and the Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, and from 11:59 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • Eastbound SR 16 to northbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. each following day.

Additional closures:
Monday, July 24

  • Southbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane near L Street from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day.

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.

20th Street East in Fife reopened
Following an extended closure, 20th Street East has reopened to traffic.
Despite the roadway reopening, drivers can expect occasional nighttime closures and daytime single-lane closures controlled by flaggers between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This will give crews continued access to work on a new I-5 bridge that spans the Puyallup River and 20th Street East. Final paving of 20th Street East is scheduled to occur in August.

NB SR 7 ramp to SB I-5 closed for construction

  • The northbound SR 7 ramp to southbound I-5 is expected to reopen in late 2017. The ramp remains closed for safety purposes during construction.

Northbound I-5 exit #133 to Tacoma city center closed until mid-November 2017

  • Contractor crews building HOV connections between I-5 and SR 16 have closed the northbound I-5 city center exit #133 through mid-November 2017. Northbound I-5 drivers headed to I-705 and SR 7 can use exit #132, which is the SR 16 and 38th Street exit and is located just before #133. You can watch a video of the detour on WSDOT's YouTube channel.

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 winter 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. 

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.