WSDOT begins I-5 HOV paving project

Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) started paving new carpool lanes on I-5 this week, work...

Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) started paving new carpool lanes on I-5 this week, work that will soon help ease congestion in Pierce County.

The stimulus-funded construction project is 70 percent complete and is on schedule and on budget. Since the project began in August 2009, crews have completed widening in the median and outside shoulders, built new I-5 bridges and installed high-performance barrier in the median.

Crews expect to spend two months paving all lanes I-5 in three-mile project limits to give drivers the final, smooth driving surface.

“Paving I-5 is the last major construction item before opening the carpool lanes to traffic,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT regional administrator. “This project is part of a broader effort to reduce congestion, improve safety and add carpool lanes in Pierce County.”

Paving is weather dependent and should take about eight weeks to complete. Drivers can expect nightly double- and triple-lane closures on I-5 between Port of Tacoma Road and the Pierce/King County line. Crews first will pave the northbound lanes and wrap up by paving the southbound lanes.

Once paving is complete crews focus on mitigation work, installing sign bridges, lighting, and overhead electronic message signs and traffic loops to provide drivers real-time traffic information.

Construction is scheduled to be complete towards the end of 2011.

This $31.4 million construction project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is estimated to support 130 jobs.

WSDOT and Tri-State Construction, Inc. began construction in August 2009, to extend the I-5 HOV network south into Pierce County. The carpool lanes being built in both directions of I-5, from the King County line to the Port of Tacoma Road interchange in Fife, are expected to open to traffic by the end of October.

The full congestion-relief and safety benefits of these projects will be fully realized once all the connecting projects are complete. More information about the program can be found at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/piercecountyhov/ . For more information, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/PiercecountyHOV/I5_PortTacomatoKing/ .

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Stories