The main exit into downtown Tacoma from northbound Interstate 5 will reopen Saturday, two weeks ahead of schedule – delighting drivers who have taken a detour for 2½ months.
Crews will open the Exit 133 off-ramp at 7 a.m. The off-ramp carries northbound traffic to Interstate 705 and the city center.
The state Department of Transportation closed it April 28 while crews demolished the ramp and lowered it 20 feet to match structures being built as part of the bigger Nalley Valley interchange project.
Two walls flank the new exit, one of which soon will be knocked down. The second wall will stay for about a decade while workers finish improvements to the I-5/state Route 16 interchange.
Drivers can expect nighttime closures for the next two weeks on eastbound state Roue 16, South Center Street, South Tacoma Way and the ramp from Union Avenue to eastbound state Route 16. Crews will be setting girders for the bridge that will temporarily carry eastbound state Route 16 traffic while the viaduct is being rebuilt.