25-mile I-5 Pierce/Thurston construction project ends

A six-month project that rehabilitates more than 25 miles of Interstate 5 between Pierce and Thurston counties has come to...

A six-month project that rehabilitates more than 25 miles of Interstate 5 between Pierce and Thurston counties has come to an end. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said Friday the project was completed last week, adding 20 years of life to sections of I-5 that carry 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles each day.

Crews replaced 50- and 60-year-old concrete panels that had exceeded their life expectancy by 20 years. Workers reinforced other parts of the roadway by installing more than 53,000 steel dowels, and they ground smooth nearly 211,000 square yards of roadway surface.

Thanks to motorists, weeknight lane closures and eleven extended weekend closures necessary to complete the work with minimum traffic disruption went off without a hitch. “The motoring public had a big role in the success of this project,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT region administrator. “The patience they showed while I-5 was reduced to a single lane overnight for the past six months was incredible. On the extended closure weekends, we asked drivers to avoid I-5 in Lakewood altogether because we knew that normal traffic volumes would cause many miles of backups. Motorists listened, and traffic volumes during those weekends dropped as much as 40 percent.”

More information on this project can be found at http://www.tacomatraffic.com .

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