Traffic metering begins Tuesday at I-5 ramps in Tacoma, Fife

Those who commute out of Tacoma and Fife during peak traffic periods could face some delays getting onto Interstate 5.

Starting Tuesday, traffic meters on three northbound I-5 ramps will go live in an effort to curb congestion on the highway.

The three locations:

  • East 28th Street

  • Port of Tacoma Road

  • 54th Avenue East

There are three meters already active and running on the corresponding southbound I-5 ramps. They were first activated in July 2017.

“Adding these three for the northbound I-5 ramps on Tuesday, July 9, brings it to a total of six ramp meters in the Tacoma/Fife corridor,” Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Linda Robson said.

The new meters are part of a larger project to help manage traffic flows statewide, Robson said.

Ramp meters are stop-and-go traffic signals that control the number of vehicles entering the flow of traffic on highways. They reduce collisions system-wide by 30 percent, according to WSDOT.

The meters are set to activate under specific traffic conditions. Typically, that’s during peak traffic periods from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., when congestion is at its worst.

The three new meters will be permanent fixtures, Dobson said.