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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Lisa Copeland, Region Communications Manager, 360-357-2789, Tumwater
Jon Deffenbacher, Project Engineer, 253-589-6100, Tacoma
LAKEWOOD – If you like life in the slow lane, then by all means take southbound Interstate 5 in Lakewood this weekend. Motorists who enjoy open lanes and traveling at 60 mph would do better to avoid the area.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is closing lanes of southbound I-5 in Lakewood just south of Bridgeport Way from 9 p.m. Friday, June 24, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 27 . This is the third of four weekend lane closures needed to replace bridge approach slabs and repair the crumbling bridge deck for the I-5 Clover Creek Bridge.
“This closure has the potential to turn I-5 into something that resembles a mall parking lot on Black Friday,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT region administrator. “I’ve got one request for motorists and that is to avoid this area if at all possible."
Ten-mile backups and three-hour delays are possible this weekend. The worst times to travel are between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday.
Crews will restripe to accommodate three lanes during the day, but the lanes will be narrow and won’t be able to handle the 70,000 motorists that use this stretch of I-5 during weekends.
Motorists can expect continuous, triple-lane closures overnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During the day, drivers will contend with a single-lane closure and the three lanes open to traffic will be extremely narrow. The ramp from Bridgeport Way to southbound I-5 will also be closed all weekend.
Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers and WSDOT’s Incident Response teams will be out in force ensuring disabled vehicles and collisions are cleared to help keep traffic moving.
“Drivers need to pay attention to their speed and following distance during the construction work this weekend,” said WSP Lieutenant, Ken Noland. “Disabled vehicles and secondary collisions in the backup will only add to delays for motorists.”
Motorists heading from Tacoma to Olympia and southbound drivers from Seattle who might seek SR 167 to SR 512 as an alternate route can also expect extensive delays as backups are expected to reach westbound SR 512.
Drivers from the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas traveling to destinations in the south Puget Sound should consider taking alternate routes such as SR 3 and US 101.
Drivers can know before they go by dialing 511 or by visiting www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic.
To learn more about this $650,000 project and how to stay informed via Twitter or through email updates, please visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/CloverCreekBridge/.
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