Ramp meters set to activate on eastbound SR 16 in Gig Harbor and Tacoma Oct. 16

Proven technology helps manage vehicle flow, reduce collisions

GIG HARBOR – Travelers who use eastbound State Route 16 in Gig Harbor and Tacoma will soon see active ramp meters along the roadway.

On Monday, Oct. 16, the Washington State Department of Transportation will turn on the ramp meters to eastbound SR 16 at the following locations in Gig Harbor:

  • State Route 302
  • Burnham Drive
  • Wollochet Drive
  • Olympic Drive
  • 36th Street Northwest
  • 24th Street Northwest

Ramp meters at the South Sprague Avenue ramp to eastbound SR 16 in Tacoma will turn on at the same time.

What to expect

Ramp meters in Gig Harbor will activate when congestion builds on eastbound SR 16 approaching the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Ramp meters on eastbound SR 16 in Tacoma will activate when congestion builds on I-5.

WSDOT will closely monitor traffic and fine-tune ramp meter operations as needed. The goal is to balance the needs of travelers merging onto the highway with the needs of those already there.

About the meters

The meters in both Gig Harbor and Tacoma were installed during previous construction projects. Updated software for the congestion-relieving tools means the meters will only activate when needed to help manage the flow of vehicles entering the highway.

Ramp meters are traffic signals that operate according to real-time conditions on the highway and ramp. The traffic signals provide consistent gaps between vehicles and prevent multiple vehicles flooding the highway at once. The even pace makes it more predictable for travelers using eastbound SR 16 and makes merging smoother for all travelers by reducing the number of vehicles merging at the same time.

Ramp meters are used in several areas across the state and are a proven and cost-effective method of relieving traffic congestion, reducing collisions and improving overall travel times for everyone.

Real-time traffic information is available on the statewide travel map and the WSDOT app. Sign up for email updates to get the latest information about state highways in Pierce County.

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.