February’s snowstorm gave Tacoma’s East L Street overpass a stay of execution. Now, the wrecking ball cometh.
The freeway bridge over Interstate 5 closes Monday (March 25) and in April it will become rubble and dust.
A replacement opens in fall 2021.
Closure was originally planned for Feb. 11 with demolition to follow. But record-breaking snowfall pushed back those plans.
The demolition is part of the Washington state Department of Transportation’s commuter lane (HOV) project now under way.
Contractor crews will close the overpass as early as 12:01 a.m. March 25, WSDOT said.
When its replacement opens, it will have two 11-foot wide vehicle lanes, two 6-foot wide bike lanes and 6-foot wide sidewalks, according to WSDOT.
The new overpass will accommodate a widened I-5 and new HOV lanes.
Lane closures on I-5 will occur during demolition, which is scheduled to begin April 8.
Demolition will require the full closure of southbound I-5 overnight on April 12 and the closure of northbound I-5 overnight on April 13.
During those closures traffic will be diverted onto and off state Route 509 via Interstate 705, Portland Avenue and Port of Tacoma Road, WSDOT said.
During the life of the project, L Street traffic can detour the construction site and cross I-5 using the underpass at East Portland Avenue and the overpass at East 34th Street, WSDOT said.
A pedestrian detour will be available via East 28th Street, East Portland Avenue and East 27th Street.
Construction information can be found at Tacomatraffic.com.