Speed limit to drop on I-5 in Tacoma in an effort to reduce wrecks in construction zone

The speed limit on eight miles of Interstate 5 through Tacoma and Fife will temporarily drop to 50 mph beginning as early as next week.

The reduction from the current 60 mph limit will be implemented on both northbound and southbound I-5.

The point, according to the state Department of Transportation, is to reduce collisions in work zones. There have been a number of crashes in recent months, many involving big rigs.

Motorists are advised to take their feet off the gas pedal as soon as signs go up, WSDOT said Thursday. The new limit will be immediately enforced by the Washington State Patrol.

The speed limit reduction will run between South 48th Street and the Port of Tacoma Road.

The reduction covers the area on I-5 that’s part of the ongoing HOV lane construction.

When the I-5/state Route 16 realignment project is completed this summer, WSDOT said it and WSP “will consider adjusting the boundary of the speed limit reduction to encompass just the Southbound HOV project.”

WSDOT said it anticipates eventually raising the speed limit back to 60 mph.

Related stories from Tacoma News Tribune