Local Information

McKinley Way overpass opens Friday, Nov. 16, in Tacoma

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 12:47

Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703

TACOMA – After a two-year closure, a key downtown Tacoma thoroughfare is reopening for all users of the road.

On Friday, Nov. 16, McKinley Way over Interstate 5 will reopen to vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

When fully complete, the new overpass will sport two 10-foot-wide sidewalks, two six-foot-wide bicycle paths, a median and a left-turn lane. The original McKinley Way configuration had narrower 6-foot-wide sidewalks and had no dedicated bicycle lanes, median or turn lane. A diagram of the before and after design is available online. On Friday, most of the overpass will open for use, however one sidewalk will remain closed for continued construction.

The overpass has been closed since summer 2016, when contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation demolished and rebuilt it to make way for additional lanes on I-5.

“We truly appreciate the patience people showed while detouring around this closure,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Gaius Sanoy. “This is a huge milestone signaling that we’re reaching the end of this project.”

This overpass is the second that WSDOT’s contractor, Max J. Kuney Company, rebuilt in the project to widen I-5 for HOV lanes through Tacoma. In an earlier stage of the project, the Pacific Avenue overpass was demolished and rebuilt. Both new overpasses were built to modern earthquake standards. 

Final funded HOV project to begin February 2019

Construction to build a new southbound I-5 bridge across the Puyallup River is scheduled to begin in February 2019. This project will also demolish and replace the L Street overpass spanning I-5, and finish replacing the existing concrete pavement on I-5 between McKinley Way and Portland Avenue. Once this final project is complete at the end of 2021, travelers will have a continuous HOV corridor between Gig Harbor in Pierce County and north of Seattle.

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