Puyallup River Bridge deck project finished Sunday

At least one major headache for southbound Interstate 5 drivers was finished Sunday afternoon, ending a series of weekend-long lane restrictions ahead of schedule and under budget.

Concrete Barrier of Mukilteo, the project contractor, brought in extra equipment and crews to finish the $1.5 million bridge deck reconstruction project a full weekend earlier than first planned.

“We understand the hardship this work has had on the public,” said Fred Tharp, project engineer. “When presented with an opportunity to complete the work a full weekend early, we went for the brass ring.”

At certain points during the weekend-long restrictions, a line of slow moving vehicles stretched for several miles on southbound I-5, even as thousands of drivers sought alternate routes around Tacoma.

In order to minimize impacts to traffic, WSDOT used the latest in concrete roadway repair technology – polyester concrete. Polyester concrete is as durable as regular concrete. The cost is higher, but the construction time is accelerated, reducing impacts to traffic. The project finished in three weekends and some nighttime work. The northbound bridge took three years to finish.

“We knew this was going to be a difficult project and we appreciate the public’s patience,” said Tharp. “Both WSDOT and the contractor we did everything possible to work quickly and provide a high-quality, long-lasting product.”

The remaining project work will be completed during a few nighttime lane restrictions this week and next.

For the latest project information, visit www.tacomatraffic.com.