Claudia Bingham Baker, WSDOT communications, 360-480-3648
TACOMA – At 11:10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, 15 hours ahead of schedule, crews shifted State Route 16 traffic from a temporary eastbound viaduct to the new permanent viaduct at Nalley Valley.
Since the traffic shift was completed ahead of schedule, the remainder of the weekend closures, including a total closure of eastbound SR 16 over Sunday night, have been cancelled.
The Washington State Department of Transportation credits the early opening to hard work and hour-by-hour planning by contractor Mowat Construction and the WSDOT construction office overseeing the project.
“We want to thank the public for altering their travel plans to help reduce congestion in the area this weekend,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Neal Uhlmeyer. “They played a big part in our ability to open the highway on the new eastbound viaduct sooner than we’d scheduled.”
Now that eastbound SR 16 traffic has moved onto the new viaduct, crews will begin demolishing most of the temporary eastbound viaduct to make room for remaining construction work.
Remaining work includes completing two new ramps from Sprague Avenue South to Interstate 5. The ramps, which connect drivers to both directions of I-5, are expected to open to traffic this July.
The $115 million I-5/SR 16 Eastbound Nalley Valley project is the second of three projects that rebuild the Nalley Valley Viaduct. This phase of the project will be complete by this July.