WSDOT: SR 16 closures will impact drivers

Drivers on State Route (SR) 16 may need to leave a bit of extra time over the next two weekends as the Washington State Department of Transportation and its contractor Tri State, Inc. work on the 19th Street and 6th Avenue ramps.

Beginning yesterday and continuing through August, motorists traveling to Cheney Stadium will be directed to North Orchard Street.

In addition to the 19th Street ramp closure, a traffic shift late Thursday closed one westbound lane, the Union Avenue on-ramp and the North Orchard Street off-ramp. Work continued through 7 a.m. this morning.

During working hours, crews will apply new traffic markings and shift westbound traffic between 19th Street and Snake Lake.

After the traffic shift is complete, the 19th Street off-ramp will remain closed and traffic needs to use the North Orchard Street off-ramp.

“By shifting traffic now, we can build the remaining portion of the Center Street Bridge without having traffic underneath,” said Dave Ziegler, project engineer. “It’s safer for the public and there won’t need to be nightly lane closures over the next few months.”

The 19th Street off-ramp will be closed until August so crews can complete ramp improvements, build the new westbound lanes, and continue work on the westbound Snake Lake Bridge. While the ramp is closed, crews will also build a pedestrian tunnel to run under 19th Street, allowing trail users to pass under the heavily traveled 19th Street.

For more information on the SR 16 Union to Jackson project and the multi-use Scott Pierson Trail, log on to .

Traffic shifts happen during overnight hours and the work is weather dependent. After shifting traffic, two lanes will still be available to motorists and the new lane markings will guide drivers through the work zone.

WSDOT encourages drivers to be aware on the highways and pay extra attention in work zones.

Also upcoming on the SR 16 project is a weekend closure of the 6th Avenue off-ramp.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, May 5, through 7 a.m. Monday, May 8, work along the SR 16 Union to Jackson project includes closing the 6th Avenue off-ramp. This closure will allow crews to rebuild the 6th Avenue ramp. During the closure, detour signs will direct drivers to the Orchard Street area.

Project completion remains scheduled for spring 2007, to coincide with opening of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.