A press release from the Washington State DOT.
LAKEWOOD – After sixteen months, the last connection on a new roundabout at the Thorne Lane and Union Avenue intersection in Lakewood’s Tillicum neighborhood is open.
On Friday afternoon, July 30, construction crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation opened the final connection of the roundabout at the top of the new Thorne Lane overpass. Travelers coming from Murray Road can now cross Interstate 5 on the new overpass and take the first right from the roundabout to Thorne Lane.
In March of 2020, crews closed one block of Union Avenue between Spruce Street and Thorne Lane. This allowed crews to raise the profile of Union Avenue over 23 feet and connect with the new Thorne Lane overpass.
While Union Avenue at Spruce Street reopened in October 2020, the roundabout connection to Thorne Lane in Tillicum remained closed while crews finished building the roadway and sidewalk.
The new Thorne Lane overpass design incorporated roundabouts at Murray Road and Union Avenue. The design removed a potential conflict between passenger trains and vehicles, and people who walk or ride.
The roundabouts removed delays travelers historically faced waiting to cross the existing railroad tracks. Roundabouts are also shown to reduce injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control.
WSDOT would like to thank residents of Tillicum and the city of Lakewood for their patience during the extended closure of this intersection.
Southbound I-5 HOV lane opens
Earlier today, crews opened the new southbound I-5 HOV lane from Thorne Lane to 41st Division Drive. It’s a sign that the second phase of construction is almost complete. The $242 million dollar project will wrap up at the end of September.
In the weeks ahead, travelers will still see interstate lanes and ramps from Gravelly Lake Drive and 41st Division Drive close during overnight hours for final striping and electrical work. Closure information is available on Tacomatraffic.com.