Construction crews will close the ramp from northbound Interstate 5 to northbound state Route 167, also known as River Road, this weekend so they can prepare a new ramp there for a Monday opening.
The old ramp will close at 9 p.m. Friday, the state Department of Transportation reported. If all goes well, the new ramp should open at 4 a.m. Monday.
DOT officials believe the new ramp, which provides a wider, straighter connection between I-5 and Route 167, will help ease traffic congestion in that area.
Workers must close the old ramp so they have room to complete paving and striping of the new ramp.
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“During the closure, a signed detour will direct ramp traffic through the Port of Tacoma Road interchange to southbound I-5, then to Bay Street, and onto SR 167,” said Cara Mitchell, a DOT spokeswoman. “Drivers are advised to plan extra time into their trips, take alternate routes and expect delays.”
The work was supposed to be completed in February, but bad weather postponed it until now, Mitchell said.
The improvements are part of a larger project to rebuild I-5 through Tacoma to add HOV lanes and a new freeway surface.
More work in the vicinity of the I-5/Route 167 interchange is coming, Mitchell said.
“After the new ramp is open, the old ramp will be demolished to make room for a new HOV lane on northbound I-5,” she said. “A new connection from East 28th/East Bay Street to SR 167 and I-5 will also be built.”
That work will require the closure of the new ramp for at least two weekends. Those closures have not yet been scheduled.