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Thursday, June 26, 2014
Claudia Bingham Baker
WSDOT communications, 360-357-2789
WSDOT project engineer, 253-365-6750
Drivers should expect weekend and night ramp closures
DUPONT – Construction crews will close the one-lane access road from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Center Drive at Interstate 5 at 7 a.m. Monday, June 30, to begin modifying the on-ramp to northbound I-5. Revisions to this ramp will take place through July.
Striping crews will also close the northbound I-5 ramps to and from Center Drive from 11 p.m. Friday, June 27, until 6 a.m. Saturday, June 28. Drivers should use alternate routes.
During construction, the access road will remain closed around the clock to all JBLM personnel. Other drivers using Center Drive can expect one weekend closure of the northbound on-ramp, and overnight closures as needed. The Washington State Department of Transportation will use roadside signs alerting drivers a week before any closures. Drivers can plan ahead by using an alternate northbound I-5 on-ramp.
“WSDOT is taking a comprehensive look at the I-5 corridor through JBLM,” said Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. “Not only are we identifying long-term strategies to meet traffic needs into the future, but we’re also making incremental changes now to help improve traffic flow for the people who work and live here.”
WSDOT will also build an HOV-bypass lane and install a ramp meter (pdf 155 kb) for the Center Drive on-ramp. Once completed, drivers using the on-ramp to northbound I-5 will able to take a free left turn, while a new stop sign will provide traffic control for JBLM drivers.
The current one-lane road from JBLM to Center Drive was originally built as an emergency access road was not intended for routine use. As part of WSDOT’s ongoing efforts to improve I-5 traffic flow through the JBLM area, the ramp modifications will allow continual use by JBLM personnel exiting the base.
Revisions to the Center Drive interchange are one of several improvements that WSDOT and its regional partners are working on to help reduce traffic congestion along I-5. On Monday, June 23, crews finished widening the access road to the JBLM Mounts Road Gate, complementing work this spring by WSDOT and Pierce County that installed turn lanes and a new traffic signal at the interchange with Nisqually Road Southwest.
This project also includes two closed-circuit traffic cameras, ramp meters and variable-message signs. All of these smart highway items are part of the I-5, SR 510 to SR 512 ITS & Ramp Revisions project that manage traffic and provide real-time traffic information to the public. This project is funded with a federal TIGER III grant.
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