Changes coming to westbound SR 16 near Purdy

Improvements for fish in Purdy Creek brings temporary shifted lanes and reduced speed limit for drivers

PURDY – People who use westbound State Route 16 near Purdy in Pierce County will soon see shifted lanes and a lowered speed limit.

Weather permitting, as early as Sunday, Oct. 9, construction crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will move two westbound lanes of SR 16 towards the median. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph from the current 60 mph between milepost 17.15 and milepost 18. The work zone and reduced speed limit will be in place for up to a year.

What travelers can expect

On average, approximately 28,000 vehicles a day use this section of westbound SR 16 over Purdy Creek. Travelers will likely see slowing traffic approaching the work zone during commute hours. Drivers are encouraged to watch for changes and avoid distractions while traveling through the work zone.

Lanes of eastbound SR 16 were shifted this summer to accommodate the upcoming work zone and to move the westbound lanes. The speed limit will remain at 60 mph for eastbound travelers.

Why this is needed

The construction is part of WSDOT’s program to remove barriers to fish under state highways.

Purdy Creek under SR 16 and SR 302 currently has undersized culverts that act as barriers to fish. Crews are replacing culverts under westbound and eastbound SR 16 in Purdy Creek with new bridge structures. A delay in obtaining materials for a temporary signal has paused work on SR 302 until 2023.

Purdy Creek is home to native fish species including Chinook and chum salmon. Coho salmon, sculpin and coastal cutthroat and steelhead trout are also found in the stream.

Real-time traffic information is available on the WSDOT app and WSDOT regional Twitter account.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.