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Good news: SR 18 ramp in Federal Way opens early

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Aug. 27, 2011 at 10:01 am with No Comments »
August 27, 2011 10:01 am

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 northbound Interstate 5 will get their ramp back tonight, six days earlier than planned. The ramp, which has been closed since Aug. 8, is scheduled to reopen between 9 p.m. and midnight.

During the 19-day closure, crews working for Mowat Construction rebuilt the entire ramp, raised it 20 feet and moved it to the east. The new ramp has 10 foot shoulders and wider lanes to better serve the 10,000 drivers who rely on it daily. Relocating this ramp will make room for a new flyover ramp between westbound SR 18 and southbound I-5. Vehicles traveling on westbound SR 18 will now access the ramp to northbound I-5 further east.

“Our contractor crews deserve a lot of credit for getting this ramp open ahead of schedule, and we appreciate drivers’ patience during the closure,” said Russ East, WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator. “Now that the ramp is open, we can move forward with this important project that will benefit thousands of drivers each day.

The work is part of a $112 million project to ease congestion and improve safety at the I-5/SR 18/SR 161 interchange. Two new flyover ramps will eliminate lane weaving that can lead to congestion and collisions.

Later this fall, crews will install large steel bridge girders to support the new flyover ramps above I-5. That work will require occasional overnight closures of one direction of the freeway.

The new flyover ramps will open in mid-2012 and the project is expected to be complete in late 2012. For more information go to: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/sr18sr161ic .

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