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Ah ... the feel of new pavement and a reopened ramp from I-5 to state Route 7

This illustration shows the routes traffic on southbound Interstate 5 will take through Tacoma as of Feb. 15, 2018.
This illustration shows the routes traffic on southbound Interstate 5 will take through Tacoma as of Feb. 15, 2018. Courtesy

Prepare yourself for another Interstate 5 lane shimmy in Tacoma. This one affects southbound traffic.

If you’re exiting onto state Routes 16 and 7 and Interstate 705, you’ll still have to merge into collector/distributor lanes north of the Tacoma Dome.

The good news: The southbound I-5 ramp to state Route 7 will reopen Thursday morning.

Since July, traffic exiting onto 16, 7 and 705 have been using collector/distributor lanes that separate from the main line around Portland Avenue. Crews have been working on the far right of those lanes to rebuild I-5’s road surface as well as on ramps and off ramps.

As of Thursday, those collector/distributor lanes will move to the right (where the crews have been) and workers will begin resurfacing the remaining two lanes (where cars were driving up until Wednesday) on the left.

To make the changes, lane closures will start at 9 p.m. Wednesday and reopen by 6 a.m. Thursday.

“Crews have a mile of barrier they have to reposition tonight,” said Cara Mitchell, a Washington state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

In other highway news, WSDOT began metering traffic entering westbound SR 16 from Sprague Avenue, Union Avenue, South Orchard Street and Pearl Street on Tuesday.

“They won’t turn on every day if the traffic volume isn’t there,” Mitchell said. Instead, expect to see metering only when traffic gets heavy, she said.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

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