Hot on the heels of opening a new Interstate 5 / State Route 16 interchange to westbound travelers, drivers will soon see work starting on a new companion roadway heading eastbound through Tacoma’s Nalley Valley. On Thursday, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) awarded a $74.7 million I-5/SR 16: Eastbound Nalley Valley construction contract to Mowat Construction Company of Woodinville. Construction is expected to begin this fall and continue through spring 2014.
“This is an exciting project,” said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “This project will bring improvements to the highway, bring jobs to the area, and complete the next phase of an HOV system in Pierce County.”
The Eastbound Nalley Valley project is the second of three phases that aims to rebuild and improve the I-5/SR 16 interchange. Like its sister westbound roadway, the eastbound project will build a general-purpose system open to all traffic and will be a precursor to future HOV lanes.
During the second phase of construction, crews will build an expanded eastbound SR 16 viaduct and new ramps from South Sprague Avenue to northbound and southbound I-5. Crews will also improve WSDOT’s ability to manage traffic and communicate real-time traffic condition to the public by installing traffic cameras, ramp meters, traffic data collectors and other hardware. The remaining sections of the original Nalley Valley viaduct, which opened in 1971, will be demolished during construction.
Drivers can expect lane and ramp closures on I-5 and SR 16, two extended closures of I-5 ramps near the Tacoma city center, and some total highway closures for demolition and bridge building. The closures are scheduled to minimize impacts to drivers while allowing the contractor the enough time to complete the work.
The overall cost of the project, funded by Nickel, Partnership and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars, is $125.5 million. For more information, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/PierceCountyHOV/SR16_EBNalleyValley/ .