TACOMA – Weather permitting, a very large traffic shift is about to take place overnight on Saturday, Aug. 10 in Tacoma, which may bring delays to travelers who use southbound Interstate 5, I-705, State Route 7 and westbound SR 16.
With the I-5 – SR 16 Realignment – HOV Structures and Connections projects nearing completion, Washington State Department of Transportation’s contractor Skanska is moving all lanes of southbound I-5 to its final alignment and reopening ramps from eastbound SR 16 to southbound I-5.
Throughout the night Saturday and early morning Sunday, crews will remove temporary barrier and install striping, uncover overhead signs, and sweep the shoulders and medians. The work will take place at several locations along I-5 from Yakima Avenue to M Street, and at southbound I-5 exit 132.
Crews will also be working near the ramp from eastbound SR 16 to southbound I-5 at South Sprague Avenue, and at the eastbound South 38th Street loop ramp. This large work area will require overnight lane and ramp closures with multiple detour routes being implemented throughout the night.
- Southbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from the Yakima Avenue overpass to the South 48th Street overpass from 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 to 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. Drivers also may experience minor rolling slowdowns on southbound I-5.
- Southbound I-5 exit 132 A to South 38th Street and exit 132 B to westbound SR 16 will close at 10 p.m. Saturday. Drivers will detour on southbound I-5 to South 56th Street, back to northbound I-5 to exit 132. Travelers coming from I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue will also follow this detour.
- At approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday, I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue drivers going to southbound I-5 will be detoured to westbound SR 16 to Union Avenue to eastbound SR 16 and back to southbound I-5.
Once all lanes and ramps reopen by 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, southbound I-5 drivers will be on new roadway surface, with wider lanes and shoulders. The southbound I-5 and eastbound SR 16 exits to South 38th Street are permanent exit only ramps. There will no longer be a connection to southbound I-5.
Eastbound SR 16 and South Sprague Avenue drivers going to southbound I-5 will use a new dedicated ramp to southbound I-5.
Because of the amount of work taking place, WSDOT is encouraging drivers to add extra travel time or if possible, take an alternate route to reach your destinations. Throughout these changes, please continue to watch your speed in work zones and give construction crews the room they need to finish this project.