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Thousands to be diverted during Pacific Avenue overpass demolition in Tacoma

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TACOMA — The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning thousands of commuters to find a different way into work if they travel on the Pacific Avenue overpass as crews began their demolition Monday.

“It’s a pretty busy road so closing that bridge is going to cause a lot of people a headache,” Alisha Gipson said.

Gipson is one of 14,000 commuters who take the Pacific Avenue overpass on a regular basis.

"They’re doing so much to so many roads it makes it difficult to get where you have to go. I have three kids to pick up in three separate places and it just makes it a longer commute," Gipson said.

Beginning Monday afternoon, crews will close and begin to demolish the 50-year-old bridge to make room for new HOV lanes on I-5. The removal and construction will take about a year.

Many drivers said they hate the headache of another construction project.

John Stewart said, "This is the busiest part of the year. This is when everyone is out and about. I mean come on.  Get it when nobody is out and about."

WSDOT warns that drivers need to find alternative routes around the work zone. When the new Pacific Avenue bridge reopens, it will be able to withstand larger earthquakes.

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