Pierce County construction

View 2018-2019 Pierce County construction map (pdf 340 kb)

This page was updated on: Feb. 21, 2019 

Final project to complete Tacoma HOV system begins in February

In February, Guy F. Atkinson Construction will begin work to design and build a wider Interstate 5 between the Tacoma Dome and the Puyallup River to make room for new HOV lanes. To do this, a new bridge will be built to carry the southbound lanes of the interstate and the old bridges will be demolished. Information about the closure, demolition and rebuilding of the L Street overpass, and I-5 lane and ramp closures will be posted on this web page in the coming weeks.

Tacoma's East L Street overpass to close for construction

Due to adverse weather conditions, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation have postponed the official closure of the East L Street overpass in Tacoma.  The earliest the closure will happen now is mid-March.  The closure, which will be in effect until fall 2021, allows crews to demolish and rebuild the overpass to accommodate a widened Interstate 5 and new HOV lanes.

  • Crews will close East L Street between East 28th Street and the East 27th Street/Wiley Avenue intersection. During the closure, vehicles and bicyclists will detour using East 28th Street, East Portland Avenue to East 27th Street and Wiley Avenue, to East McKinley Way and East 34th Street.
  • A pedestrian detour will be available via East 28th Street, East Portland Avenue and East 27th Street. The contractor, Guy F. Atkinson Construction, will be making pedestrian accessible improvements on East 28th Street and East 27th Street before the pedestrian detour is implemented.

Changes to Bay Street near I-5 in Tacoma

Drivers who use East Bay Street under the Interstate 5 overpass in Tacoma will now see two-way traffic and new travel options near the I-5 overpass and East 28th Street and East 27th Street.

 On Friday, Dec. 14, lanes leading to a new roundabout at East 29th Street and S Street opened. Drivers coming from S Street will be able to travel north on East Bay Street, under I-5, and onto southbound I-5. The graphic below describes the new traffic movements.

Changes to Bay Street near I-5 in Tacoma
(Click on the image for a larger view)

New ramp to southbound I-5 in Tacoma opens

Travelers who use Interstate 705, State Route 7 and Pacific Avenue to reach southbound I-5 now have a shorter detour in place to reach southbound I-5. On Friday, Nov. 16, design-build contractor Skanska opened a temporary ramp that connects drivers coming from Tacoma’s city center to southbound I-5 at an earlier location near the SR 16 exit.

Opening this new ramp to southbound I-5 allowed crews to remove temporary tubular markers that, for six months, have restricted eastbound SR 16 drivers from accessing the west side of South 38th Street. By removing the temporary markers, drivers will have access to both east and west South 38th Street from all directions of I-5 and SR 16.

Read more about this work on the WSDOT Blog.

Temporary ramp to southbound I-5 for Tacoma city center drivers
(Click on the image for a larger view)

Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program

I-5 - SR 16 Realignment - HOV Structure and Connections
I-5 Region: Olympic County: Pierce Location: Milepost(s) SR 16 0.1 to .7 I-5 130.9 to 133.5
Contact: Gaius Sanoy, 253-365-6700
Description: This project is the final of a three stage effort to rebuild the Nalley Valley interchange. During the final phase, crews will build ramps that create new HOV lanes between I-5 and SR 16. The project will also realign I-5 to accommodate HOV ramps.
Project web page

I-5 - Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road - Southbound HOV
Highway(s): I-5 Region: Olympic County: Pierce Location: Milepost(s) 136 to133
Contact: Gaius Sanoy, 253-365-6700
Description: This project is the final HOV project that builds a new southbound I-5 bridge across the Puyallup River and rebuilds the L Street overpass, and widens I-5 to install and complete the HOV system on I-5 in Tacoma.
Project web page

Tacoma/Pierce County HOV construction schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 20

  • Southbound I-5 exit 132A to South 38th Street will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday. 

Thursday, Feb. 21

  • Southbound I-5 exit 132A to South 38th Street will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday.

Friday, Feb. 22

  • Southbound I-5 exit 132A to South 38th Street will close from 11:59 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday.

Why are these closures necessary?

  • On I-5 between Port of Tacoma Road and Portland Avenue, contractor crews are starting work on the final HOV project that builds a new southbound I-5 bridge across the Puyallup River. Crews will implement overnight lane, ramp and local street closures to establish work zones throughout the project. Some work is weather dependent and could be rescheduled.
  • Contractor crews are building a new alignment for southbound I-5 near the SR 16 interchange. The new alignment makes room for direct connect HOV lanes to be built between the two highways. To do this work, southbound I-5 traffic is shifted onto a temporary alignment.  Crews are installing barrier, which requires closing the eastbound SR 16 ramp to southbound I-5. Crews will also install signs and refresh the lane striping when the weather allows.

Temporary southbound I-5 configuration at SR 16 through early 2019
Design build contactor Skanska has moved all lanes of southbound I-5 onto a new temporary lane configuration so crews can begin demolishing and rebuilding southbound I-5 at the SR 16 interchange. The temporary configuration is expected to remain in place through 2018. Here is what drivers need to know:

  • Drivers on southbound I-5 headed to westbound SR 16 will merge to the right between Pacific Avenue and Yakima Avenue to reach the exit to SR 16. This is the same location where drivers currently merge. We mention this because you won't be able to merge over to westbound SR 16 at the last minute. Drivers who miss SR 16 exit can continue on southbound I-5 and exit at S. 56th Street east to northbound I-5 to SR 16.


Pierce County Construction    

I-5 - Steilacoom-DuPont Rd. to Thorne Lane - Corridor Improvements
I-5 Region: Olympic County: Pierce Location: Milepost(s) 120-124
Contact: Chuck Meade, 360-412-3420
Description: WSDOT is rebuilding the interchanges at Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street, and adding general purpose and auxiliary lanes to I-5.
Project web page
Work Schedule: 

Thursday, Feb. 21

  • Berkeley Street on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Friday.

Utility work Feb. 23-24

Weather permitting, both the northbound and southbound I-5 ramps at Berkeley Street will be controlled by law enforcement from 10 p.m. Saturday, to 2 p.m. Sunday. During the work, the traffic cameras at Berkeley Street will be offline.

Monday, February 25

Contractor crews replacing the Berkeley Street overpass in Lakewood have scheduled an overnight closure of the Madigan Army Medical Center gate on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The overnight closure will allow crews to set temporary barrier, stripe lanes and shift traffic leading to and from the gate into a temporary configuration.

Closure details – work will occur on one of the following nights:

  • Monday, Feb. 25, from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26
  • Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27

This work is weather sensitive, and may be rescheduled for a later date. During the overnight closures, first responders such as ambulance, fire and police will continue to have access through the gate. All other JBLM personnel or medical staff will need to use alternate routes.

SR 162, Spiketon Creek Bridge - Temporary Repair
Highway: 162 Region: Olympic County: Pierce Location: Milepost(s) 19.6
Contact: Claudia Bingham-Baker, 360-357-2789
Description: Contractor crews will install a temporary crossing over Spiketon Creek in Buckley. The bridge was closed to traffic in August 2018 after settlement was observed in one of its piers. A detour is in effect using Mundy Loss Road, SR 410 and SR 165. 
Work Schedule: Construction on the temporary crossing will begin late summer 2019. Drivers will continue to use the detour until the bridge reopens later that fall. 

SR 410, Buckley - Rebuild Signal
410 Region: Olympic County: Pierce Location: Milepost(s) 19.6-21.4
Contact: Lone Moody, 253-365-6700
Description: Contractor crews will replace three existing signals at the SR 410 intersections of Mundy Loss Road, Main Street and Park Avenue with new mast arm signal systems using current technology and equipment. Crews will also rebuild sidewalk ramps at the intersections of SR 410 and Main Street and Park Avenue.
Work Schedule: Drivers will see daytime work on the shoulders Feb. 19-22. Weather postponed the timing of activating the new signals. New dates have been provided below:

  • Intersections will be controlled by law enforcement between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the following dates and intersections:
    • Thursday, Feb. 21 at Mundy Loss Road
    • Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Main Street
    • Thursday, Feb. 27 at Park Avenue

City of Tacoma Puyallup River Bridge Replacement
Contact: Chris Storey, City of Tacoma Project Manager, 253-573-2484
Description: The City of Tacoma is removing and replacing three spans of the bridge west of the Puyallup River.
Work Schedule: The bridge closed to all traffic on May 21, 2018. Check the project web page for the latest reopening date.
Project web page

I-5 - Port of Tacoma Interchange Improvement Project
Contact: Laurel McQuade, City of Fife, 253-922-9315
Description: City of Fife is underway Phase 1 of this project, which brings road, interchange and intersection improvements to the Port of Tacoma.
Work Schedule: No ramp closures are scheduled.
Project web page.

Pierce County Maintenance

Highway: SR 302 Region: Olympic County: Pierce Location: Milepost(s) 11.2 to 11.4
Contact: David Evans, 360-570-6746
Description: One-way alternating traffic with flaggers and occasional shoulder closures for utility work.
Work Schedule: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday Feb. 10-15. 

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.