Slowdown Lowdown

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Archives: Aug. 2012


Construction delays in Nalley Valley, I-5

Most work on the Eastbound Nalley Valley project will take place during daylight hours for the next few weeks, so drivers won’t have to endure night closures of Highway 16 for a while.

However, the Washington State Department of Transportation says drivers should expect single-lane closures this week on South Tacoma Way, Center Street and South Sprague from 9 am. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Interstate 5 will continue to see nighttime closures of multiple lanes in the northbound direction while crews excavate and replace broken concrete panels.

Each night from Sunday, Aug. 19, through Thursday, Aug. 23, crews will

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Traffic plus heat equals SMOG

Smog pollution in King and Pierce counties could reach unhealthy levels this week as temperatures rise throughout the region, according to forecasters at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Smoggy conditions will mostly impact communities in the Cascade foothills of King and Pierce counties.

Pollution generated by vehicle traffic and activities in the urban areas of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma accumulates as it moves to outlying suburban and areas.

Smog in the Cascade foothills may remain elevated through Saturday.


Left-turn lanes added at Sumner-Tapps Highway intersection today

Pierce County crews will be working on the Sumner-Tapps Highway today, adding left turn lanes at the South Tapps Drive East intersection.

The road is not being widened. Instead, crews will re-stripe the northbound lanes to reduce the two uphill lanes to one lane and a center two-way left-turn lane between the South Tapps Drive intersection and 166th Avenue East.

The striping for the southbound lanes will also be changed to create the left-turn lane.

Traffic delays are possible during the work, according to the county.

“The addition of the left-turn lanes will significantly improve traffic operations and safety at

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Rock blasting prompts temporary closures this week on I-90 in Snoqualmie Pass

One lane of Interstate 90 in Snoqualmie Pass will be closed part of this week while crews blast rock in an area near the snowshed. A significant amount of debris could fall on the road, prompting the temporary closures.

The closures will be from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today, Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, crews will close the pass at 7:30 p.m. from Hyak (milepost 54) to Price Creek Sno-Park (milepost 61) to remove debris and check for damage to the highway.

It is unknown what time that section of I-90 will reopen.

Drivers are encouraged to plan for

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More I-5, Highway 16 delays coming

Watch for more delays at the I-5/Highway 16 intersection over the next several days.

On Sunday night, southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. Monday.

On Monday night, crews working on the Eastbound Nalley Valley project will close the southbound I-5 exit to South 38th Street at 11 p.m. for illumination work. The ramp will reopen to traffic by 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Also on Monday night, crews working on the I-5 concrete panel replacement project will reverse directions and begin northbound panel work.

At 10 p.m., crews will reduce northbound I-5 to

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Boat launch at Hall Road in Vaughn closed today

The boat launch on Hall Road in Vaughn will be closed today while Pierce County crews finish improvements.

The closure will last from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Construction will wrap up this afternoon when workers pave the boat ramp approach. They replaced the existing structure with concrete panels over the weekend.

During the closure, people can use other county-operated launch sites like A Street KPS in Home, 72nd Street KPS near Longbranch and Randall Drive NW near Gig Harbor.

No more closures will needed at the Hall Road launch this year as originally planned.


Open house set for new Port interchange

The public is invited to an open house to learn more about the upcoming State Route 509/East D Street slip ramp project. The open house is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. in Room 405 of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (1500 Broadway).
The City is designing a new interchange at State Route 509 and East D Street. Once constructed, the interchange will improve freight movement into and from the Port of Tacoma as well as access to businesses on either side of the Thea Foss Waterway and to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail

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Freedom Bridge gets big grants

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) today announced the approval of a $5.7 million grant for the City of Lakewood to improve the Freedom Bridge overpass near the Madigan Army Medical Center Gate to alleviate congestion and improve public safety along the Berkeley street corridor.
Improvements will include an additional eastbound ramp to the bridge, a second left turn lane to the I-5 southbound off-ramp, upgrades to traffic signs and additional pedestrian facilities for increased public safety.

Funding for the project is provided under the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations

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