Local Information

Soil clean up closes Port of Tacoma Road ramps and 20th Street in Fife

Friday, February 21, 2020 - 09:35

Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703

Closure runs March 6-23; detour routes will be available

FIFE – Travelers who use 20th Street East or the Port of Tacoma Road ramps near northbound Interstate 5 will need to find alternate commuter routes for over two weeks in March.

On Friday, March. 6, a contractor working with the Washington State Department of Transportation and the city of Fife will close several ramps and a section of 20th Street East. The closures are needed to finish removing contaminated soil and replace a culvert under Port of Tacoma Road. The ramps and road are scheduled to reopen Monday, March 23, though inclement weather could delay those timelines.

Closed Friday, March 6, to Monday, March 23

  • Northbound I-5 exit 136A to 20th Street East will close at 8 p.m., Friday, March 6.
  • Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close at 10 p.m., Friday, March 6.
    • Travelers coming from Pacific Highway East will only be able to access southbound I-5. The southbound lane of Port of Tacoma Road across the overpass to 20th Street will close.
  • The intersection of Port of Tacoma Road and 20th Street East will close at 10 p.m., Friday, March 6.

During the closures, travelers will use 54th Avenue, Pacific Highway East, and SR 509 as detour routes.

What will remain open during the clean up work:

  • The northbound I-5 exit 136B to Port of Tacoma Road.
  • Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to southbound I-5.
  • Southbound I-5 exit 136 to Port of Tacoma Road, however left turns towards 20th Street East will be prohibited.

The work is a result of a 2016 collision where an overturned tanker truck spilled approximately 8,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline. Efforts to remove the fuel from the soil using a pump system have been on-going since the collision occurred, but tests show contaminants remain in some areas. WSDOT and the city of Fife are coordinating the cleanup with the trucking company’s private contractor to dig out and remove the contaminated soil and culvert. The cleanup costs are being covered by the trucking company’s private insurance.

Visit the Pierce County construction web page for updated maintenance and construction information. Real-time traveler information is available from the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.

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