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Coming soon: Northbound HOV lane on SR 167

Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703

Construction begins May 17 on SR 167 from Puyallup to Auburn

PUYALLUP – There is good news for travelers who use northbound State Route 167 from Puyallup to Auburn.

Beginning May 17, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin building a new northbound high occupancy vehicle lane on SR 167. Overnight lane closures are scheduled to begin the week of May 24.

The new HOV lane will begin near SR 410 in Pierce County and continue north for seven miles, connecting to the existing SR 167 high occupancy toll lane south of Auburn in King County.  The $33 million dollar project also brings new traffic cameras and ramp meters to the SR 167 corridor.

Weekend closure of northbound SR 167

As part of the HOV lane construction, crews will make bridge deck modifications on two overpasses near Sumner and Pacific, requiring a full weekend closure of three miles of northbound SR 167. The work will take place at the following locations:

  • The northbound SR 167 overpass that spans 8th Street East near Pacific.
  • The northbound SR 167 overpass that spans the westbound SR 410 ramp to southbound SR 167 near Sumner.  

Both bridge deck modifications will be completed in one weekend. Detour routes will be in place; however, traffic engineers anticipate significant backups will occur. WSDOT will share the date of the full weekend closure once it becomes available. The bridge deck work is weather sensitive and may be rescheduled.

In addition to the weekend closure, travelers will see overnight lane and ramp closures throughout the life of the project. Drivers are encouraged to watch their speeds and give crews the room they need to work.

The new HOV lane is anticipated to open to travelers in spring 2022. The lane will transition to an express toll lane at a future date. On average, approximately 57,000 vehicles use northbound SR 167 each day, according to 2019 travel data.

Project history

This section of SR 167 was identified in the Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program, which includes a series of projects that build HOV lanes on I-5, SR 16 and SR 167 in Pierce County. A Practical Solutions approach was used on this project to identify ways to reduce congestion using cost-effective solutions. A direct result of this approach is the new northbound HOV lane will be built within the existing pavement widths on SR 167, reducing the expense of purchasing additional right of way, and removing the requirement of additional environmental permitting, which would have added time to a project.

Updated construction information for this project is available on Pierce and Thurston County travel planner. Before heading out the door, travelers can find the latest information on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.