To the left, to the left, lanes are shifting to the left as a construction work zone on Interstate 5 at the Fife curve undergoes a transformation soon.
On Tuesday, Jan. 9 contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s SR 167 Completion Project will shift southbound I-5 lanes left toward the median. Northbound lanes will be shifted the night of Tuesday, Jan. 16. These shifts will put drivers on the inside portions of two new bridges that will carry I-5 over the planned new crossing for Hylebos Creek.
Moving traffic toward the median requires overnight lane closures and rolling slowdowns so that crews can safely reposition concrete barriers and restripe lane lines. The temporary orange lane striping will also be removed.
Highway travelers will begin using the new southbound bridges by 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. Northbound traffic will use the new bridges by 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17.
Lane closure information
To complete the traffic shift, crews will close up to four lanes in one direction of I-5 on separate nights. Lane striping is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of poor weather.
- 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9: Southbound lanes begin closing near South 375th Street with all but one lane closed by 11:59 p.m.
- 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10: All southbound lanes are open.
- 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16: Northbound lanes begin closing near 54th Avenue East with all but one lane closed by 11 p.m.
- 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17: All northbound lanes reopen.
Advisory speed limit in I-5 work zone
After each traffic shift is complete, an advisory speed limit of 50 mph will be in place. Highway travelers will still be going through an active work zone and should use caution, slow down and remain alert for the safety of road construction crews. For updated traffic information, people can check the WSDOT real-time travel map or download the WSDOT traffic app.
New bridges for Hylebos Creek
In February 2023, crews began building the inside portions of the new I-5 Hylebos Creek bridges. Lanes were restriped to curve to the right, around the work zone, and the regulatory speed limit reduced to 50 mph. In January 2024 crews will set up new work zones to begin building the outside halves of the new bridges after traffic is shifted toward the median.
The bridges are needed for another key element of the SR 167 Completion Project, the restoration of Hylebos Creek. The creek is the centerpiece of a unique environmental mitigation effort that will revitalize nearly 150 acres of wetlands, streams and habitat on either side of I-5 near the Fife curve. The creek west of I-5 has already been realigned. The portion that crosses under I-5 will be relocated under the new bridges later this year.
Removal of temporary orange lane striping
The traffic shift also marks the end of a pilot project testing orange contrast lane striping through the work zone. The orange lane stripes that alternate with traditional white stripes between Wapato Way and Porter Way will be removed when lane lines are repainted for the traffic shift.
In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and project general contractor Guy F. Atkinson Construction, WSDOT installed the orange contrast lane striping to test whether it’s an effective method to improve highway work zone safety. It marked the first use of orange work zone striping in Washington.
Information gathered during the pilot project will be processed and analyzed over the next several months and submitted to the FHWA in 2024. The data will be added to information collected by four other states that also tested orange work zone striping. Results from WSDOT’s pilot project will not be available publicly until after the FHWA has reviewed the data.
SR 167 Completion Project information
The SR 167 Completion Project builds 6 miles of new tolled highway between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma. The new highway will be completed in stages. The portion currently under construction between I-5 and the Port of Tacoma is scheduled to open in 2026.
Puget Sound Gateway Program overview
The SR 167 Completion Project is part of WSDOT’s Puget Sound Gateway Program , which also includes the SR 509 Completion Project in King County. Combined, the two completion projects finish critical missing links in Washington’s highway and freight network.