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Lane closures for I-5 widening in Centralia start July 16

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Date:  Thursday, July 12, 2012

Contact: Ty Hillebrand, WSDOT project engineer, 360-740-8600 (Chehalis)
Abbi Russell, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2058 (Vancouver)

Expect night time single-lane closures between Mellen St. and Blakeslee Jct.

CENTRALIA – Construction work to improve Interstate 5 in Centralia has been in progress since early June, but so far, drivers may not have noticed. Crews haven’t disrupted traffic for the past month while preparing to widen the interstate between Mellen Street and Blakeslee Junction.

That changes on Monday, July 16, when contractor crews with Cascade Bridge LLC of Vancouver, Wash., start building collector-distributor lanes along both directions of I-5.

Drivers can expect weeknight single-lane closures on I-5 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Mellen Street and Blakeslee Junction until work is complete next spring. Drivers will also want to plan for nighttime ramp closures this summer at the Mellen Street interchange. These closures can take place seven days a week and crews will put signs up on I-5 in advance of the closure to warn drivers.

It may be a little noisy at night for neighbors near Hayes and Plummer lakes while crews truck in dirt and gravel to build up the roadway for the new lanes. The Washington State Department of Transportation is requiring Cascade Bridge to use quieter backup alarms and bed liners to reduce noise. Most of the noisy work should be complete by this fall.

This work is part of the first stage of the $155 million, two-stage I-5, Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction project. Stage 1 lays the foundation for widening the interstate to three lanes in each direction, improving two major interchanges, and creating more options for local traffic to travel between Chehalis and Centralia.

Stage 1 is expected to be complete in spring 2013. Construction on Stage 2 is scheduled to begin in summer 2013, and the entire project is scheduled for completion in late 2014.

This is the final project in the I-5, Mellen Street to Grand Mound project series, which improves 18 miles of the most important freight corridor on the West Coast and busiest travel route in western Washington. WSDOT is investing $390 million from the 2003 and 2005 gas-tax packages for this series of projects.

Sign up online to receive email updates and follow the project through construction. Stay in the loop on construction-related traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s Travel Alerts and Southwest Region Construction Update web pages.

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