Plan ahead for I-5/South 38th Street traffic revision in Tacoma Sunday morning


The Easter bunny and all other travelers will want to allow extra time for early Sunday morning trips in Tacoma.


During the overnight hours of Saturday, April 20, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close two popular ramps to implement a traffic shift that will re-open the South 38th Street interchange to all State Route 16 and Interstate 5 traffic. The closures will remain in effect early Sunday morning.


10 p.m. Saturday, April 20, to 8 a.m. Sunday, April 21

  • Southbound I-5 exit 132A to westbound South 38th Street and Southbound I-5 exit 132B to westbound SR 16 will close. All traffic will remain on southbound I-5 and detour to South 56th Street, back to northbound I-5 and use exit 132 to westbound SR 16 and South 38th Street.
  • I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue ramps to southbound I-5 will detour to westbound SR 16, to Union Avenue, to eastbound SR 16 and merge left to follow signs back to southbound I-5.
  • Law enforcement will perform traffic control at the South 38th Street interchange near the Tacoma Mall Boulevard while crews activate the new signal at the top of the loop ramp.


Sunday, April 21

Once the ramps re-open to traffic on Sunday morning, southbound I-5 and eastbound SR 16 drivers exiting to South 38th Street may turn right or left at the top of the ramp. Traffic will be controlled by a temporary traffic signal. This gives drivers full access to South 38th Street while crews rebuild the adjacent westbound South 38th Street ramp.


Travelers coming from I-705, SR 7 and Pacific Avenue will be shifted onto one lane across the new southbound I-5 bridge. From there, drivers will have the opportunity to exit to South 38th Street or continue to southbound I-5.


This temporary traffic shift will remain in place into June, or until the collector/distributor lanes between eastbound SR 16 and southbound I-5 are rebuilt to meet the new profiles of southbound I-5.


Poor weather conditions could delay the timing of the closures.


WSDOT would like to thank travelers for their continued patience while crews finish this important work at the I-5 and SR 16 interchange.  The I-5 – SR 16 Realignment – HOV Structures and Connections project is expected to be complete this summer.


Updated HOV construction information is available on Before heading out the door, travelers can find the latest road conditions on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.

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