$120 million Westbound Nalley Valley project begins

A project that eliminates one of Pierce County’s worst bottlenecks by rebuilding the westbound section of the State Route 16 Nalley Valley viaduct moves a step closer to reality this week. Washington State Department of Transportation on Monday awarded a construction contract to Guy F. Atkinson Construction, a Renton-based company that submitted the lowest bid of $119.9 million. There were five other bidders.

WSDOT expects to begin construction late this year or early next year.

“The Westbound Nalley Valley project continues our plan to improve highway safety and eliminate the remaining bottlenecks in the Tacoma-Pierce County area,” said Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond.

According to WSDOT, moving from Interstate 5 to westbound SR 16 is often a frustrating experience during the peak commute hours. Drivers from northbound I-5 and southbound I-5 jockey for position as they merge onto SR 16 or exit at Sprague Avenue. These conflicts lead to slowdowns, backups and the potential for collisions.

Two new bridges — one for northbound I-5 traffic entering SR 16 and one for southbound I-5 traffic entering SR 16 — eliminate the weaving conflict. In addition, each bridge has its own off-ramp to Sprague Avenue.

For more information about the project, visit http://www.tacomatraffic.com .