Eastbound state Route 16 to close overnight, backups expected this weekend

Staff writerJanuary 2, 2014 

Crews will close all lanes of eastbound state Route 16 at 10 p.m. Friday, and the roadway won’t fully open again until Monday.

The state Department of Transportation initially said the closure would start the first dry Friday in January. But officials said Thursday that crews would close the freeway Thursday night and reopen it at 4 a.m. Friday before the next closure at 10 p.m.

Crews will be connecting a permanent eastbound state Route 16 viaduct. Drivers have been using a temporary span during the project to revamp the Nalley Valley structures.

“It’s the tremendous amount of work they have to do,” spokesman Doug Adamson said. “They’re trying to get as much done as possible before the weekend closure begins.”

That included painting lines on the new viaduct and moving concrete barriers, he said.

When crews close all the eastbound lanes again at 10 p.m. Friday, they’ll also close the southbound Interstate 5 exit to South 38th Street. Two lanes of the eastbound roadway and the exit will reopen at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with everything closing down again at 10 p.m.

One lane of eastbound state Route 16 will open at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, and traffic will be detoured onto southbound I-5. To get to northbound I-5, drivers will be detoured to the South 56th Street interchange.

At 10 p.m. Sunday, it’ll all close again, until everything reopens at 4 a.m. Monday.

That’s when drivers will be using the new, permanent eastbound viaduct for the first time.

“The lengthiest delays will be during Saturday and Sunday,” Adamson said. “Those are the longest backups.”

He suggests drivers check tacomatraffic.com to make a plan before heading out this weekend.

After this milestone in the project, another one coming up is finishing the ramps that will connect Sprague Avenue to both directions of I-5.

When the new eastbound bridge is in place, crews will knock down the temporary viaduct and keep building those ramps, which should be open to traffic in May or June.

alexis.krell@thenewstribune.com

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