The first of at least 10 full closures of southbound I-5 takes place this weekend in Tacoma as Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and contractor Guy F. Atkinson continue building a new segmental bridge for the SR 16 Westbound Nalley Valley project. An enormous crane will lift a 70- to 90-ton piece of concrete into place that is 45 feet wide, 12 feet high and 8 to 10 feet long. Crews will use steel cables and rods to secure it to the end of the bridge, which continues to span I-5 as new segments are added. Drivers will follow a signed detour around the work zone using 38th Street from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sat., Oct. 16.
“Closing southbound I-5 during this work is vital to ensuring both traveler and worker safety,” said Kevin Dayton, region administrator. “More than two-thirds of the bridge’s 112 segments have been lifted into place, but we still have 40 to go. We’ll have more I-5 closures like this throughout the winter.”
The remaining 40 segments will be lifted into place at various locations of the new bridge, which will provide a new connection from northbound I-5 to westbound SR 16. When completed, the bridge will span I-5 and various exits in the vicinity. Each time crews have to lift girders over traffic, WSDOT will close I-5 lanes and ramps for safety. Once all segments are secured, additional nighttime closures will be required as crews tie the sections and end spans together into a continuous structure.
The $184 million SR 16 Westbound Nalley Valley project started in January 2009, and is approximately 75 percent complete. The work is funded primarily by the 2003 gas-tax transportation-funding package. For more information about this project, visit http://www.tacomatraffic.com . To get updates about the project’s construction schedule and roadway closures on I-5, SR 16 and area ramps visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Olympic/Construction/Default.htm .