A main traffic artery connecting Tacoma’s East Side to Interstate 5 will be severed for at least a month starting Wednesday.
That’s when crews working for the state Department of Transportation will close the ramp from northbound state Route 7 to northbound I-5. The ramp allows traffic from 38th Street to access the interstate near the Tacoma Dome.
Transportation Department officials are encouraging drivers to use Interstate 705 as a detour but warned of potential delays.
The closure also will deprive motorists coming off eastbound state Route 16 of a bypass around heavy northbound I-5 traffic.
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The existing ramp will be demolished during the closure, officials said last week.
“Once the old ramp is gone, crews will reconstruct a new realigned ramp that will join a newly widened I-5,” Transportation Department spokeswoman Cara Mitchell wrote in a news release.
The work is part of the long-running project to widen and rebuild the surface of I-5 through Tacoma.
Two other parts of that project could complicate the commute this week.
The first is scheduled for overnight Wednesday and Thursday, when crews plan to divert northbound I-5 traffic off the main freeway near South 38th Street.
The closure will be in place from about midnight to 4 a.m. the next day.
Traffic will be detoured via the parallel collector-distributor lanes and then onto I-705 and state Route 509 before rejoining I-5.
The second project is scheduled for Friday, when workers hope to close the existing ramp from northbound I-5 onto northbound state Route 167 (River Road).
The closure would allow crews to put the finishing touches on and open a new ramp there, possibly by March 6.
Bad weather has delayed that project several times over the past few weeks.