72nd Street East between Waller Road East and Canyon Road East will be reconfigured to three lanes after the road is resurfaced in late July.
The 1.5-mile section is currently four lanes, with two lanes in each direction. After the road is chipsealed and fog sealed, it will be restriped as a three-lane road.
The chipsealing work is expected to begin on July 24 and continue on July 25 if needed. The fog sealing work is expected to be take place July 25 and 26. The restriping work is expected to take place the week of July 29.
Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lane restrictions may be in place during the work. The work is weather dependent. Motorists can visit www.piercecountywa.gov/traffic for schedule updates.
About the change
Once the road is restriped, there will be a lane in each direction and a center two-way left-turn lane. Several turn lanes will be added, including left-turn lanes at Vickery Avenue East, an eastbound right-turn only lane at Waller Road East, and a westbound right-turn only lane at Canyon Road East. Existing left-turn lanes will remain at Waller Road East and Canyon Road East. Bike lanes in both directions will be added.
“This change is expected to increase safety, improve sight distance for motorists entering 72nd Street East from side roads, and reduce rear-end crashes,” said Rory Grindley, Pierce County Planning and Public Works traffic engineer. “The reconfiguration will help moderate traffic flow and speed on this corridor. While there will be fewer through lanes, there will still be sufficient capacity to handle current traffic volumes.”
About the chipsealing work
The chipsealing work will extend the road’s life by seven to 10 years and reduce maintenance costs.
During chipsealing, a coat of liquid asphalt and a layer of rock chips are applied to the road. The roadway is then swept clean of loose rock chips. Motorists can drive on the road immediately after the application.
During fog sealing, a final application of liquid asphalt is spread over the surface of the road to keep water out and improve rock retention. Traffic control measures will be in place for three to seven hours after the application, depending on temperature and humidity.