Question: Why is the onramp to I-705 (and northbound I-5) closed at A Street? It makes no sense to me.
For those of us looking for a route to northbound I-5 from Tacomas central area, that little ramp is a lifesaver. But it begins to feel like planners are determined to make northbound access as difficult as possible.
Ive taken this route frequently for the past three years. I tried it recently and the ramp was closed. The detour forced me all the way back to Pacific Avenue, and access via the Thea Foss onramp.
I cant understand it, because theres no visible construction at A Street. The road is clean. Its just blocked. Sean, Puyallup
Answer: The Washington State Department of Transportation feels your pain.
"I can understand why people may be confused about why WSDOT closed the A Street onramp to I-705, because its not readily apparent how its connected to any work, said agency spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker.
"We closed the ramp on Sept. 17 when we began a seismic retrofit project on the columns of the bridges in the I-705/SR 7 interchange, she said.
"To make room for that construction project, we needed to reduce southbound I-705 from three lanes to two. The restriping of I-705, in turn, made it too difficult for motorists to safely merge from A Street onto I-705. So the ramp needed to be closed for motorist safety.
Bingham Baker said the ramp will remain closed until the seismic project is finished in March 2014. A signed detour takes drivers back to state Route 509 and then onto I-705.
Rob Carson: 253-597-8693
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