Expected traffic tie-ups in Tacoma didn’t materialize Sunday

The traffic tie-ups that could have been Sunday weren’t there, and Washington state Department of Transportation spokesman Doug Adamson applauded local drivers for staying off the highways.

Construction projects on one of state Route 16’s Tacoma Narrows bridges and on southbound Interstate 5 near the Tacoma Dome, coupled with crowds driving to watch the airshow at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, threatened to heavily jam up traffic in Tacoma.

“We did not see massive backups on southbound I-5, and we did not see extended backups for both directions of state Route 16,” Adamson said. “The credit goes to drivers who changed how they move. They eliminated discretionary trips, went early, went late, and we are very, very thankful and grateful for that.”

The project along I-5 squeezed southbound traffic into two lanes between Portland Avenue East and South M Street from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday as crews continued work repaving and widening the freeway.

On SR 16, the westbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge — the older one — was closed for the weekend for repaving. The eastbound bridge had two lanes open in each direction from 6 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

WSDOT expects similar closures on SR 16 on the eastbound bridge from Sept. 9 to 12.

“Of course, this is all weather-dependent work, so that date is contingent on us getting dry weather,” Adamson said.

Adamson also said traffic for JBLM’s Airshow and Warrior Expo was significantly lighter than traffic Saturday, which backed up I-5 and westbound state Route 512.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker