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Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Jon Deffenbacher, Project Engineer, 253-589-6100 (Lakewood)
Lisa Copeland, Communication Manager 360-357-2789 (Tumwater)
TACOMA – The Interstate 5/State Route 16 bottleneck breaks this weekend as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) opens the new Westbound Nalley Valley Viaduct.
When it shatters Sunday, June 26, and traffic flows from northbound and southbound I-5 to westbound SR 16 and Sprague Avenue, motorists will have a safer and noticeably smoother drive.
“This project removes both the worst bottleneck and weave in the South Sound area,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT regional administrator. “There was definitely some pressure on the system because of the work necessary to accomplish this milestone. Drivers paid attention, remained patient and stuck with us – and we are truly grateful for this.”
Approximately 131,000 motorists drive this section of highway each day. Crews built 10 new bridges – including a segmental overpass connecting northbound I-5 to westbound SR 16 – since Guy F. Atkinson Construction started the $120 million, nickel-funded project in January 2009. The bridges, constructed from new approaches on 77 piers, span more than 7 acres.
The work supports construction of the Eastbound Nalley Valley Project, which begins this fall, and in 2013 will move eastbound SR 16 traffic onto a new viaduct and open a new ramp between S. Sprague Avenue and eastbound SR 16.
“The westbound work is a prelude of great things to come,” said Dayton. “It sets the stage for eastbound construction and for our upcoming efforts to reduce congestion with new HOV lanes in 2020.”
For more information about the I-5/SR 16 Westbound Nalley Valley Project, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/PierceCountyHOV/SR16_WBNalleyValley.
For more information about the SR 16 Eastbound Nalley Valley Project, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/PierceCountyHOV/SR16_EBNalleyValley.
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 http://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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