Traffic Q&A: Short-term closures on new roadways not unusual, WSDOT says

Question: Why is the new Sprague on-ramp linking state Route 16 to Interstate 5 closed again just weeks after it opened? It looks like they're adding a lane or something. — Janice, Tacoma

Answer: No new lanes — just some final details, according to the state Department of Transportation.

“We’ve closed the new Sprague ramps a couple of times since they opened to traffic to allow crews to do some electrical and striping work on and near the ramps,” said WSDOT spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker. “It’s not unusual that once a new roadway facility opens to traffic, shorter-duration closures are still necessary to complete all work on a project.”

The short closures usually occur at night when traffic volumes are lower, which has been the case with the Sprague ramps, Bingham Baker noted.

Bingham Baker left open the possibility of more short-term closures.

“We don’t have any work scheduled at the moment that will require more ramp closures, but it’s hard to say when closures will be done completely,” she said. “There are always punchlist items that come up as we finish a project, and they can take several months to get done. I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess.”

Rob Carson: 252-597-8693


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