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Construction in the Tacoma area

Plan ahead: I-5 lane and weekend ramp closures scheduled after Labor Day

Shortly after the Labor Day holiday, drivers in the Tacoma area will notice a series of night single- and double-lane closures on Interstate 5, as well as a series of weekend ramp closures. The weekend ramp closures had been scheduled to occur earlier but were postponed due to rain.

Work schedule

  • From 12:01 a.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, all lanes of mainline northbound I-5 will close. Drivers will be routed onto the parallel northbound I-5 collector/distributor lanes and detoured via either State Route 7 or Interstate 705.
  • From 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, to 5 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, Pacific Avenue and southbound I-705 on-ramps to southbound I-5 will close.
  • From 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, to 4 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14, the northbound I-5 collector/distributor exit to northbound I-705 and to southbound SR 7 will close.

These closures are needed for ongoing work in WSDOT’s I-5: M Street to Portland Avenue – HOV project. 

Overnight lane closures planned Sept. 8-10 at westbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Nighttime drivers traveling on westbound State Route 16 across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge can anticipate three nights of lane closures.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 8-10, crews will close the right lane near the westbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge followed by a double-lane closure at 8 p.m. All lanes will reopen by 10 a.m. each following morning. Two westbound lanes will remain open for traffic.

The work is weather-dependent and could be rescheduled.

The lane closures are needed for project to replace equipment that allows Washington State Department of Transportation crews to maintain areas under the span.

Eastbound SR 16 lanes will not be affected.

Night closures scheduled for East 28th Street through early September

Crews are busy with an effort to install water lines and roadway drainage, and to repave East 28th Street in Tacoma.

  • The work will require East 28th Street to be closed to all traffic between Portland Avenue East and East Bay Street from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each weeknight through early September.

Signed detours will direct traffic around the closures. Drivers headed to northbound Interstate 5 will be detoured via East 26th Street; those going to State Route 167 will be detoured via East 29th Street.

This work is part of WSDOT’s ongoing I-5: Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road – Northbound HOV project.


Alternate route for eastbound SR 16 drivers going to northbound I-5

Tired of the recent long backups on eastbound SR 16 heading to northbound I-5? Try this alternate route, which uses the SR 7 U-turn at South 38th Street.  We've clocked it, and when backups at the merge are heavy this will take you about half the time! Just make sure that as you're heading up the hill on SR 7, take the route to South 38th Street east (not west).

Eastbound SR 16 alternate route to northbound I-5

In addition to the above mentioned ramp and lane closures, the following are long-term closures related to two I-5 HOV projects in Tacoma

Continued ramp closures

  • Northbound State Route 7 on-ramp to southbound Interstate 5.
  • A Street on-ramp to northbound Interstates 705/I-5.

Long-term closure of 20th Street East in Fife in place through 2017

The road closure is needed while crews build a new northbound Interstate 5 bridge over the Puyallup River. The bridge, which will be built adjacent to the existing northbound I-5 bridge, will be wider and straighter than the existing bridge, and will feature a new northbound high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. Other improvements will also be made on I-5 between Portland Avenue in Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma Road in Fife.


Tips for Driving Through Work Zones

  • Pay attention - driver inattention is the number one cause of work zone accidents.
  • Leave room between you and the car ahead of you - most work zone accidents involve someone running into the car ahead of them. Drive defensively - be aware of what is happening around you.
  • Merge into the proper lane before you reach the work zone.
  • Don't use cell phones or adjust your radio while driving through the work zone.

Summer construction season map for Pierce county (pdf 443kb)

Want to see WSDOT construction efforts? Take a look at the Construction Season Projects Map.

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For more information on these projects, please contact WSDOT Olympic Region Communications staff during office hours at 360-357-2789 or by emailing