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Thursday, June 16, 2011
WSDOT Communications, 360-357-2789 (Tumwater)
MaryLou Nebergall, Project Engineer, 360-570-6750 (Tumwater)
ROCHESTER – Typically, when Interstate 5 closes, stress levels rise considerably for both drivers and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) personnel. That won’t be the case next week when crews fully close the freeway for multiple nights while they set girders for a new bridge over the freeway in south Thurston County.
“Closing I-5 is usually a huge impact to drivers,” said MaryLou Nebergall, project engineer. “Fortunately, this location allows us to detour drivers off of I-5 at the Grand Mound Interchange and then immediately route them back onto the interstate.”
WSDOT will close southbound I-5 at milepost 88 overnight Tuesday and Wednesday, June 21 and 22, and northbound I-5 on Thursday and Friday, June 23 and 24.
Work hours are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following mornings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, crews will close I-5 at 11 p.m. and reopen the roadway by 7 a.m. Saturday.
WSDOT and its contractor, Tri-State, Inc. are building this bridge over I-5 as part of the $25.8 million I-5 Grand Mound to Maytown Stage Two project to rebuild the I-5/US 12 interchange at Grand Mound. The project is funded by the 2003 nickel gas tax.
Once the 14 girders that measure 84-feet long and weigh 76,400 pounds are set in place, crews will begin forming the bridge deck. The weeklong work means construction will be 40 percent complete. The rebuilt interchange is set to open in summer 2012.
The Grand Mound interchange improvements are the second phase of an improvement plan that includes a nearly completed $89 million project, also funded by the nickel gas tax, to widen four miles of I-5 from four to six lanes between Grand Mound and the Blakeslee Junction near Centralia.
Upgrading I-5 in this area improves safety and traffic flow through Lewis and Thurston counties. It also benefits freight mobility in this important I-5 transportation corridor.
More information about the project is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/grandmoundstage2.
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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