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Pacific Avenue bridge over I-5 in Tacoma to open Aug. 18

Workers spread concrete over rebar on the new Pacific Avenue bridge over Interstate 5 in downtown Tacoma, July 29, 2016. The bridge is scheduled to partially re-open Aug. 15.
Workers spread concrete over rebar on the new Pacific Avenue bridge over Interstate 5 in downtown Tacoma, July 29, 2016. The bridge is scheduled to partially re-open Aug. 15. phaley@thenewstribune.com

The new Pacific Avenue bridge over Interstate 5 in Tacoma is scheduled for a limited opening Aug. 18, the state Department of Transportation has announced.

The bridge will open with one lane of travel in each direction. Bicycle and pedestrian paths will be open as well.

The exact time of the opening has not been determined, so Transportation Department officials encouraged morning drivers not to plan their commute over the new span.

The original bridge was closed and demolished in spring 2015 so a span with wider piers could be built to accommodate the widening of I-5 below.

Over the next two months, contractor crews will work to finish the remaining two travel lanes of the bridge, according to the Transportation Department.

“We truly appreciate the patience people showed while detouring around this closure,” said Brenden Clarke, a project engineer.

On Aug. 18, crews will close East McKinley Way at I-5 to begin demolishing and rebuilding the overpass there. That project is expected to last 18 months.

The Transportation Department has encouraged drivers who usually use that bridge to detour to the new Pacific Avenue span.

The East McKinley Way overpass will be open Aug. 20 to accommodate traffic headed to the McKinley Hill Street Fair, but only from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with one lane available in each direction.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam

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