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I-5 - Vicinity Tumwater Blvd to Gravelly Lake Dr - Paving

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Project Photos

Location of the I-5 bridge expansion joint in Olympia.
Location of the replaced I-5 bridge expansion joint in Olympia. Click here for larger photo on Flickr.


September 2014

  • Crews have completed the task of removing an aging bridge expansion joint from the northbound and southbound lanes of I-5 and the on- and off-ramps for US 101 in Olympia. All lanes have been restriped to their original configurations.
  • Expansion joints help maintain a smooth driving surface by allowing the concrete in a bridge deck to expand and contract with changing weather. This particular expansion joint was installed in the mid-1980s and had been temporarily repaired numerous times.
  • The project to replace the expansion joint went very well and WSDOT thanks drivers who stayed away during the two completed high impact weekends.
  • See the Olympic Region Weekly Construction and Traffic Update report for current impacts to traffic.



Why is WSDOT repaving segments of Interstate 5 between Tumwater and Lakewood? Why did crews replace a bridge expansion joint at the intersection of US 101 and I-5 in Olympia?
After years of heavy traffic, sections of pavement along this portion of Interstate 5 are showing signs of deterioration and rutting, and needs to be resurfaced. A new surface will help reduce annual maintenance, repair costs and keep the freeway open for daily drivers and freight haulers. 

Expansion joints are a critical part of a bridge’s infrastructure. The joints allow the bridge to move and flex with changing traffic and weather conditions. The 28-year-old expansion joint that spans the width of northbound and southbound Interstate 5 needs repair. The concrete surrounding the joints has deteriorated, which could lead to the expansion joints failing and popping up into traffic creating a safety hazard for the drivers. The synthetic rubber seals are broken allowing water to leak through the joints, washing away soil under the bridge. WSDOT replaced the concrete headers around the expansion joint and replace the rubber seals with a silicone-based seal.

The End Result
This project will extend the useful life of the pavement and the bridge expansion joints, therefore improving safety for the approximately 144,000 drivers who use this stretch of Interstate 5 on a daily basis.

Project Benefits
This project will extend the useful life of the pavement for approximately 20 years.

What is the project timeline?
Fall/Winter 2013: Project was designed.
April 2014: Project advertised for competitive bid.
July 2014: Estimated start date.
Fall 2014: Completion

Financial Information

This project is funded from the following Source:

                     Financial Data for PIN 300599L
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $4,578
Total $4,578

How can I get more information?
Ricky Bhalla
Project Engineer

Claudia Bingham Baker
WSDOT Communications

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