TACOMA – Construction crews building the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Southbound HOV project have found a way to speed up their construction schedule. It means another change is coming for travelers exiting to Tacoma’s city center.
Slated to begin Wednesday, Feb. 3, weather permitting, crews for Guy F. Atkinson Construction will move the location for southbound I-5 exit 133 north to the vicinity of the Port of Tacoma Road overpass. Travelers headed to I-705 and SR 7 will use the same exit and temporary collector/distributor lane as travelers exiting to Portland Avenue and Bay Street.
What travelers need to know
- The new decision point for travelers headed to Tacoma’s city center exit is two miles before the actual exit.
- Drivers headed to Tacoma’s city center exit 133 will need to be in the right lane of southbound I-5 in Fife before the Port of Tacoma Road exit 136. Signs will be placed to alert travelers as they approach the new decision point.
- If drivers miss the new exit point, they can detour to South 56th Street exit 130 and can return on northbound I-5 to exit 133.
- The temporary exit will be in place through spring 2021.
Moving the exit location has the potential to speed up progress on the project. By creating a work zone next to the new southbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge, crews may be able complete work sooner and move travelers onto the bridge by late summer instead of later this fall.
About the project
Once finished, the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Southbound HOV project will connect high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes to Interstate 5 and SR 16 in Tacoma. The project also:
- Builds a new southbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge,
- Rebuilds the L Street overpass across I-5,
- Replaces the original I-5 roadway surface from McKinley Avenue to Portland Avenue,
- Upgrades signing, lighting, and traffic data sensors,
- Improves stormwater collection and treatment facilities,
- Removes the old 1962 I-5 bridges, over the Puyallup River.
Additional information about overnight ramp closures for Pierce County maintenance and construction is available at TacomaTraffic.com. Before heading out the door, travelers can find the latest road conditions on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.