April showers bring May flowers, more changes to I-5 in Tacoma


Traffic in all lanes of Interstate 5 in Tacoma will soon shift as work continues on high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane projects.

As early as May 1, southbound I-5 drivers will be relocated onto a temporary alignment as part of ongoing work by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Design-build contractor Skanska will move traffic to create a large work zone where crews will remove old concrete and pour new I-5 lanes.

Travelers will see the following temporary changes as a result of the traffic shift. These changes will be in place through 2018:

  • The three southbound through-lanes of I-5 will move to the southeast immediately adjacent to northbound I-5. Barriers will separate the two directions of traffic.
  • The southbound I-5 exit to South 38th Street will stay in its current location, which will make it northwest of the construction zone.
  • Travelers headed to southbound I-5 from State Route 7, I-705 and Pacific Avenue will follow the South 38th Street exit to rejoin southbound I-5.
  • Eastbound SR 16 travelers headed to westbound South 38th Street will detour to 56th Street.

That’s not all. Later in May, crews working for WSDOT’s adjacent construction project to the north will move all lanes of northbound I-5 onto the new Puyallup River Bridge, marking a big milestone for the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Northbound HOV project.

“Moving all northbound traffic onto the new Puyallup River Bridge is a major accomplishment in our efforts to build HOV lanes through Tacoma and improve overall traffic flow,” said WSDOT Olympic Region Administrator John Wynands. “We appreciate travelers’ patience while we finish these final four projects.”

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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