Tacoma’s McKinley Way overpass opens

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After a two-year closure, a key downtown Tacoma thoroughfare is reopening for all users of the road.

On Friday, Nov. 16, McKinley Way over Interstate 5 will reopen to vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

When fully complete, the new overpass will sport two 10-foot-wide sidewalks, two six-foot-wide bicycle paths, a median and a left-turn lane. The original McKinley Way configuration had narrower 6-foot-wide sidewalks and had no dedicated bicycle lanes, median or turn lane. A diagram of the before and after design is available online. On Friday, most of the overpass will open for use, however one sidewalk will remain closed for continued construction.

The overpass has been closed since summer 2016, when contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation demolished and rebuilt it to make way for additional lanes on I-5.

“We truly appreciate the patience people showed while detouring around this closure,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Gaius Sanoy. “This is a huge milestone signaling that we’re reaching the end of this project.”

This overpass is the second that WSDOT’s contractor, Max J. Kuney Company, rebuilt in the project to widen I-5 for HOV lanes through Tacoma. In an earlier stage of the project, the Pacific Avenue overpass was demolished and rebuilt. Both new overpasses were built to modern earthquake standards.

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