State lowering speed limit to 50 mph along 8-mile stretch of I-5

TACOMA, Wash. -- The state is lowering the speed limit on Interstate 5 in the Tacoma area after a series of crashes in construction zones.

Q13 News image / Getty Creative

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, crews will be installing the temporary 50 mph signs as early as next week.

The change impacts an eight-mile section of I-5 from South 48th Street and to Port of Tacoma Road.

This area includes two major work zones: the I-5/SR 16 realignment (HOV structure and connections) and the I-5/Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road southbound HOV project.

WSDOT and the Washington State Patrol are working together to reduce the potential for collisions in work zones. Troopers will be enforcing the 50 mph speed limit as soon as the signs are put up.

Q13 News has reported on multiple crashes in the construction zone on I-5 at SR 16. There have been at least eight involving big rigs in the last six months, causing major delays.

“We understand the importance of I-5 throughout Pierce County,” WSDOT spokesperson Cara Mitchell told Q13 News last month. “When something breaks down it affects everyone and so we look at response times, and that includes getting a tow truck there faster than normal, so they’re not stuck.”

Earlier this year, troopers pulled over hundreds of drivers during a commercial vehicle emphasis campaign.

Troopers say the common theme for most of the high-profile crashes is speed. Drivers should slow down and pay extra close attention in construction zones.

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