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I-5, DuPont road closing in both directions Wednesday morning for locomotive removal

Both directions of Interstate 5 and DuPont-Steilacoom Road will close briefly Wednesday morning while crews remove a 270,000-pound locomotive from the freeway, said Capt. Dan Hall of the Washington State Patrol.

Hall said crews hope to move the locomotive to Joint Base Lewis-McChord shortly after 9 a.m. The wreckage will be transported north in the southbound lanes to the DuPont-Steilacoom Road.

“We will own the road,” Hall said, emphasizing that the massive locomotive won’t leave room for others on the road.

The Amtrak train derailed Monday morning killing three people, injuring many more and blocking Interstate 5.

Moving the locomotive will require two tractors — one in the front and one in the back. Hall said the “superload” will stretch 270 feet and the trailer had to be reinforced to carry the locomotive. He anticipates the I-5 closure will last 5-10 minutes and that the trailer will move at about 10 mph.

Once the locomotive is removed, crews will have access to debris and road damage they were not previously able to access. Among the work, crews will need to replace at least 150 feet of guardrail.

Hall said “fingers crossed” that southbound I-5 lanes will open later today. The lanes have been closed since Monday.