Local Information

I-5 and SR 16 ramps in Tacoma reopen in August

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 13:52

Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703

New ramp connections bring congestion relief near South 38th Street

TACOMA –Tacoma commuters who use the South Sprague Avenue on-ramp to southbound Interstate 5 and the South 38th Street interchange will soon be able to travel on new ramps.

As early as Sunday, Aug. 18, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor Skanska will open new ramps to all traffic, bringing congestion relief and changes to the South 38th Street interchange.

If the weather allows, the South Sprague Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5 will reopen by 10 a.m. Sunday. The temporary traffic shift on eastbound SR 16 to southbound I-5 at Union Avenue will be removed. Drivers will no longer need to merge left three lanes to access southbound I-5. It also means there are new decision points for travelers headed to southbound I-5 drivers need to take note of:

  • Eastbound SR 16 and South Sprague Avenue drivers going to southbound I-5 will use a new dedicated ramp to southbound I-5
  • Eastbound SR 16 to South 38th Street is now permanently an exit only ramp.

Southbound I-5 moves to final alignment

The second piece of good news is that during the same overnight traffic shift, crews will move all southbound I-5 lanes into a final alignment across a brand new bridge. Lanes of southbound I-5 will no longer be directly adjacent to northbound I-5, separated by temporary barrier between the SR 16 interchange through 48th Street.

During the overnight traffic shift, drivers will see lane and ramp closures adjacent to the I-5 and SR 16 interchange. A list of ramp closures is available on the Tacomatraffic.com webpage.

Poor weather conditions could delay the timing of the traffic shift.

This work is part of a project that builds connecting high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes between I-5 and SR 16. Those HOV lanes are expected to open up early this fall.

Visit the Tacomatraffic.com web page for updated HOV construction information. Real-time traveler information is available from the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.

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