Slowdown Lowdown

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Archives: Aug. 2011


North Gate Road on JBLM closes Monday for repairs

North Gate Road on Joint Base Lewis-McChord closes Monday for more than two weeks while crews repair the road.

The 1.7-mile stretch connects JBLM Lewis-North’s D Street Gate and Lakewood. Drivers will be detoured through Lakewood and Steilacoom.

The D Street Gate will remain open during the repairs.

Clover Park School buses and emergency vehicles will still have access to North Gate Road/Huggins Meyer Road Southwest.

Work is scheduled to be complete Sept. 16.

Once the North Gate Road project is finished, crews will begin repairs to East Drive, which are expected to take 90 days. That project includes adding

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Reminder: Avoid 520 bridge this weekend

If you’re planning to travel in the Seattle area this weekend, be warned. Major congestion is expected Saturday and Sunday as construction crews close the State Route 520 floating bridge and highway from Montlake Boulevard to Interstate 405 to install a culvert beneath SR 520 near Yarrow Point and create a median work zone for lid construction in Medina.

Here are details:

SR 520 closure details
Crews will close all ramps in the work zone and all lanes on SR 520 from 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle

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Good news: SR 18 ramp in Federal Way opens early

Good news for South King commuters: The ramp from westbound State Route 18 to northbound I5 opened overnight. Crews finished the work six days early. Still a long way to go on the flyover interchange construction, but it’s one less hassle for drivers.

Here is Friday’s announcement from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

SR 18 ramp in Federal Way reopens tonight
WSDOT contractor crews open the ramp six days ahead of schedule

FEDERAL WAY – Federal Way drivers who have had to detour around a 19-day closure of the ramp from westbound State Route 18 to

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ALL CLEAR: City Center exit 133 blocked in Tacoma

The Washington State Department of Transportation advises that the two left lanes of northbound I-5 near the City Center Exit 133 are blocked due to a multiple vehicle collision that happened a little after 2 p.m. Back up is about six miles, all the way to the 512 interchange.

UPDATE: The crash has been cleared.


Crews move restored caboose through Fife today

Drivers through Fife might be slowed today as crews moved a train caboose to its permanent home in Dacca Park.

The caboose is being moved from Fife City Hall, down 54th Avenue East and Valley Avenue East to Dacca Park. The move was expected to take place between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Oregon, Washington Railway and Navigation Co. caboose has been fully restored.

Read more about the caboose in Friday’s News Tribune.


Sign repairs blocking lane on northbound I-5 in Lacey

Crews making repairs to an overhead sign above northbound Interstate 5 near the Marvin Road exit in Lacey are blocking the right lane, the state Department of Transportation reports.

Drivers are using the center and left lanes to get around the work, which started at 3:15 p.m. The emergency repairs should be done by 5:15 p.m.


UPDATE: Point Defiance/Tahlequah ferry back in service

UPDATE as of 5:30 p.m.:

The Rhododendron will return to service with the 5:30 p.m. sailing from Point Defiance.

INITIAL POST: A ferry on the Point Defiance/Tahlequah route is out of service for 2-3 hours, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The Rhododendron has a disabled vehicle aboard the vessel.

Alternate routes are the Southworth/Vashon and Fauntleroy/Vashon routes, WSDOT reports.