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Tacoma Area Construction

Weekly ramp and lane closures scheduled for I-5 in Tacoma for the week of Nov. 13:
Subject to change. Work is weather dependent. Signed detours will be in place for all ramp closures.

Single and double lane closures are scheduled for both directions of I-5 between 48th Street and M Street during overnight hours.

Contractor crews building HOV lanes will close the southbound I-5 collector/distributor (c/d) lanes through Tacoma every night the week of Nov. 13 for paving. Drivers headed to westbound SR 16, SR 7 and I-705 will detour via the 56th Street interchange to northbound I-5 and the northbound exit #132.

Friday, Nov. 17 

  • Southbound I-5 c/d will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • Portland Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • Southbound I-5 ramp to I-705 and East 26th Street will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • I-705 ramp to southbound I-5 will close from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to northbound I-5 will close from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday. During the closure, drivers will detour via the 56th Street interchange to northbound I-5 and the northbound exit #132.

There is no work scheduled over the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

New northbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge opens to ramp traffic

The new 1,569 foot northbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge opened to ramp traffic on Saturday, Oct. 28. Here are the details:

Drivers who use the 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will cross the new 1,569 foot Puyallup River Bridge prior to merging with mainline I-5 traffic.
Drivers on northbound I-5 heading to the Port of Tacoma Road and 20th Street East will exit mainline I-5 south of the river and cross the new Puyallup River Bridge to reach the interchange. The new exit is approximately a half-mile south of the current exit.

View this new configuration on Flickr.

Temporary exit number and orange construction signs added to I-5
Improvements have been made to construction signage for drivers on southbound I-5 headed to State Route 16 and Tacoma’s city center.

Previously installed green highway signs directing drivers to SR 16 and I-705 have been replaced with orange signs. The new signs also reference a new exit number, #134, which is the access point to the collector/distributor lanes that lead to SR 7, I-705, SR 16 and South 38th Street. The access to the collector/distributor remains unchanged, but WSDOT hopes that giving the exit a temporary number and changing the signs to orange will provide more visible and clear direction to drivers.

Orange construction signage on southbound I-5

SB I-5 ramp to SR 7 closed for construction
SB I-5 to SR 7 long term closure image

An around the clock closure of the southbound I-5 ramp to SR 7 in Tacoma is now in place through the fall of 2017. During the closure, contractor crews will install drainage and electrical systems, build retention ponds and rebuild the ramp to align with the changing contour of I-5.  Drivers who use the SR 7 ramp will be detoured via northbound I-705, the SR 509 interchange and southbound I-705. 

SB I-5 ramp to SR 7 detour map

I-5 lanes in Tacoma move into new phase of construction 
SB I-5 traffic shift
Southbound I-5 in Tacoma has been reconfigured into two separate roadways. WSDOT created a video that gives drivers an idea of what to expect so you can plan ahead and not miss your exit. 

The temporary alignment will allow crews to replace the original concrete of I-5 and create a work zone to advance work on the new McKinley Street overpass. Detours will be provided for all ramp closures. WSDOT advises motorists to pay extra heed to the new lane alignments.

Access to westbound SR 16
Southbound I-5 drivers heading to SR 16 need to stay in the right lane past the Puyallup River Bridge to access the collector/distributor (C/D) lane that will take them to SR 16. If you miss the C/D, continue to 56th Street and turn back on northbound I-5 to exit #132.

Common Questions:

If I take the C/D instead of the through- lanes, can I still reach southbound I-5?

Answer: Yes, the C/D lanes will merge back onto southbound I-5 near S. 38th Street.

If I miss the C/D and need to get to SR 16 or I-705, where can I turn around?

Answer: If drivers miss the C/D, they can turn around at the S. 56th Street interchange and take the northbound I-5 exit 132 to either SR 16 or I-705.

Will drivers entering southbound I-5 at Portland Avenue go onto the C/D?

Answer: Drivers entering southbound I-5 from Portland Avenue will be directed onto the C/D and can rejoin southbound I-5 at S. 38th Street.

20th Street East in Fife reopened
Following an extended closure, 20th Street East has reopened to traffic.
Drivers can expect occasional nighttime closures and daytime single-lane closures controlled by flaggers between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This will give crews continued access to work on a new I-5 bridge that spans the Puyallup River and 20th Street East. Final paving of 20th Street East is scheduled to occur in August.

NB SR 7 ramp to SB I-5 closed for construction

  • The northbound SR 7 ramp to southbound I-5 is expected to reopen in late 2017. The ramp has been realigned and crews have finished installing concrete. Once crews install guardrail and striping , the ramp will re-open. Striping is weather sensitive work. Crews hope to have the ramp open by the end of November.  

Northbound I-5 exit #133 to Tacoma city center closed until mid-November 2017

  • Contractor crews building HOV connections between I-5 and SR 16 have closed the northbound I-5 city center exit #133 through mid-November 2017. Northbound I-5 drivers headed to I-705 and SR 7 can use exit #132, which is the SR 16 and 38th Street exit and is located just before #133. You can watch a video of the detour on WSDOT's YouTube channel.

McKinley Way overpass being rebuilt

  • East McKinley Way at I-5 in Tacoma closed to all traffic so crews can rebuild the overpass to accommodate a wider I-5. The roadway isn't expected to reopen to traffic until late summer 2018.  Until the overpass is rebuilt, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will detour to the rebuilt Pacific Avenue overpass. Rebuilding both overpasses is part of the effort to expand I-5 HOV lanes into Tacoma. 

Slow down and Give ‘em a Brake
Drivers are advised to give themselves extra travel time and become familiar with current ramp closures and detour routes on Interstate 5 in Tacoma before heading out the door. If you're driving at night, please slow down in work zones and avoid distracted driving. Help keep our work crews safe. Slow down, pay attention, and stay calm. Work zones aren't there to personally inconvenience you. They're there to improve the roads for everyone. It’s a drivers’ own interest to be safe in work zones. Statewide, more than 96 percent of people injured in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians.