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Lane, ramp closures begin at I-5/SR-16 interchange in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tonight, WSDOT is set to begin work at a known trouble spot for crashes at the I-5 and SR-16 interchange.

Weather has postponed this work, but WSDOT thinks dry conditions today and tomorrow give crews a good change to get the work done on a new permanent alignment along this stretch.

WSDOT hopes this will cut down on some of the ongoing traffic problems over the past few years, especially with big rig crashes. At least eight trucks have lost control in the tighter curved lanes of the construction zone and plowed through the medians in almost the exact same spot. And it usually happens when it's rainy or wet.

Tonight, they're starting work to reopen new ramp connections from eastbound to SR-16 to Southbound I-5 in Tacoma.

There will also be a second traffic shift Saturday to move all southbound I-5 lanes onto a new permanent alignment.

Lanes will start closing on I-5 South at 8 p.m. Thursday. Several exits will also close, including 132 A and B, and westbound SR-16.

There will be detours as well. WSDOT is encouraging drivers to avoid the freeway tonight while crews do the work.

Here's the work and closure timeline from WSDOT:

Thursday, Aug. 15

  • 8 p.m.
    • Travelers on southbound I-5 will begin to see crews setting up lane closures starting at the McKinley Way overpass to South 48th Street.
  • 9 p.m.
    • Two lanes of southbound I-5 will close. Throughout the night, travelers will see shifted lanes through the work zone.
    • South 38th Street on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close until 6 a.m. During the closure, drivers will detour using Tacoma Mall Boulevard to South 56th Street to I-5.
    • The southbound I-5 exits 132A & B to South 38th Street and westbound SR 16 will close until 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16. Drivers will follow a detour to South 56th Street, to northbound I-5 to exit 132. Southbound I-5 travelers coming from Fife who are headed to South 38th Street can avoid this lengthy detour and take exit 133 to SR 7 to access South 38th Street.
    • Drivers coming from Pacific Avenue, I-705 and SR 7 to southbound I-5 will detour to westbound SR 16 until 4 a.m. During that time, drivers headed to southbound I-5 or South 38th Street will detour at Union Avenue to eastbound SR 16 and back to southbound I-5.

6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16

  • All lanes and ramps reopen including:
    • South Sprague Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5
    • Eastbound SR 16 ramp to southbound I-5
    • Eastbound SR 16 and southbound I-5 exits to South 38th Street are now exit only

Saturday, Aug. 17

  • 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. 17 to 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18. 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 to 10 a.m. Sunday. 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 detour to SR 16 to SB I-5 from 10 p.m. until midnight.
  • Around midnight, crews will reopen one lane from I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue to southbound I-5.
  • All lanes and ramps reopen by 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.
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