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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. 

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.

Ramp and lane closures
Overnight ramp and lane closures for HOV construction are listed below. During the closures, signed detours will be in place.

Monday, Aug. 21 through Friday, Aug. 25
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 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 11 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.
• Southbound I-705 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11:59 p.m. Thursday to 4 a.m. Friday and from 11:59 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday.
• Pacific 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.
• Eastbound SR 16 to Sprague exit #1A will close each night from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Lane closures:
• Southbound I-5 from the Puyallup River Bridge to East L Street will have a single lane closed each night, Monday through Friday. Lane closures begin as early as 8 p.m. with all lanes open by 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and by 7 a.m. Saturday.
• Northbound I-5 from Portland Avenue to East Bay Street will have the two left lanes closed Monday through Friday. Lane closures begin at 8 p.m. with all lanes open by 5 a.m. Thursday and Friday, and by 7 a.m. Saturday.
• Southbound I-5 collector/distributor 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. The C/D lanes provide access to I-705, SR 7 and SR 16. Drivers will be detoured through the S. 56th Street interchange to northbound I-5 and the northbound exit to those destinations (#132).
• Eastbound SR 16 will have a lane closure near the Sprague Avenue exit Thursday through Saturday from 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. each 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.

Southbound I-5 ramp meters in Fife and Tacoma
Ramp meters are now active 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

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

20th Street East in Fife reopened
Following an extended closure, 20th Street East has reopened to traffic.
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.