Traffic Q&A: I-5 through Tacoma to get major makeover

Question: Not sure who else to write to, but I wanted to ask if you have any information as to when parts of Interstate 5 through Tacoma are going to be replaced.

The concrete panels, especially between 38th Street and the Puyallup Bridge, are crumbling apart with wide gaps in them. Already I have seen chunks of pavement come loose.

This is a very dangerous situation to drivers.

Peggy Thompson, Tacoma

Answer: The state Department of Transportation is embarking on a major makeover of that stretch of freeway.

During the next six years, they’ll widen it to accommodate new high-occupancy vehicle lanes, replacing overpasses and building new bridges over the Puyallup River.

The first phase of the project (which will start next month and take about three years) includes replacing the entire concrete driving surface on existing lanes between Portland Avenue and South M Street, according to Jon Deffenbacher, the Transportation Department’s project engineer.

You’re right about it needing to be done. Most of the driving surface has been in place since the freeway was constructed in the 1960s, Deffenbacher said.

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