Ramp and lane closures this weekend on Interstate 5 in Lakewood promise two things: first, summer weekend traffic could be horrific and second, the I-5 Clover Creek Bridge project is almost complete. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is closing multiple lanes of northbound I-5 in Lakewood just south of Bridgeport Way from 9 p.m. Fri., July 8, to 5 a.m. Mon., July 11, along with the left lane of southbound I-5. Backups could stretch for 11 miles, all the way to Nisqually, if motorists don’t delay trips or avoid this section of I-5 this weekend.
WSDOT performed similar work in the same location in the opposite direction two weeks ago, but engineers say the northbound work is a little trickier.
“In general we see higher volumes northbound,” said Kevin Dayton, region administrator, “and on Sunday we will be combining the lane closures with traffic returning from the Seattle to Portland Bike Ride, along with the heavy Sunday summer traffic that is typical between Thurston and Pierce counties.”
To avoid the long backups and delays, the best times to travel are in the early-morning and late-evening. The worst times are during the day between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. During the day Saturday and Sunday, traffic will be reduced to three narrow lanes, and won’t be able to accommodate the typical volumes this section of I-5 sees on a weekend. Northbound drivers can expect continuous, triple-lane closures overnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The ramp from Gravelly Lake Drive to northbound I-5 also will close from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. Motorists from the south Puget Sound area headed to the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas should consider taking alternate routes, such as US 101 and State Route 3. Drivers south of Lakewood wanting to catch the Bremerton Ferry also are encouraged to use US 101 to SR 3 instead of I-5 to SR 16. Drivers from Southwest Washington and Portland heading north to Pierce and King counties should allow plenty of time, investigate alternate routes or consider other modes of transportation, like Amtrak Cascades. To find schedule and fare information for Amtrak Cascades, please visit http://www.amtrakcascades.com /.
Drivers can know before they go by calling 511 or by visiting http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic .
To learn more about this $650,000 project and how to stay informed via Twitter or through email updates, please visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/CloverCreekBridge/ .