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15-day closure of Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 starts Aug. 23

Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703

Travelers should plan for additional travel time and be familiar with detour and alternate routes

TACOMA – An upcoming extended closure of the Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to southbound Interstate 5 means travelers will need to plan for increased travel times.

Construction crews building the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Southbound HOV project will close the Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 for 15 days starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23. This work is part of a Washington State Department of Transportation project that builds a new southbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge.

During the around-the-clock closure, drivers will follow a signed detour using the Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5, exiting at 54th Avenue East, then crossing over the freeway and back to southbound I-5.

Contractor crews with Guy F. Atkinson Construction will finish the new ramp connection from Port of Tacoma Road to southbound I-5 and the new Puyallup River Bridge during the closure,

Crews are building a retaining wall as part of the new on-ramp alignment. The work includes installing barrier and drainage structures for a new retention pond system and installing electronic systems that help monitor traffic flow on the ramp.

The current Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 has been in a temporary alignment since June. 

About the project

In late summer or early fall, the contractor will move all lanes of southbound I-5 to the new Puyallup River Bridge. New high occupancy vehicle lanes in both directions of I-5 will open this fall. The project also:

  • Rebuilds the L Street overpass across I-5
  • Replaces the original I-5 roadway surface from McKinley Avenue to Portland Avenue
  • Upgrades signing, lighting, and traffic data sensors
  • Improves stormwater collection and treatment facilities
  • Removes the old I-5 bridges, built in 1962, over the Puyallup River

Additional information about overnight ramp closures for Pierce County maintenance and construction is available at Before heading out the door, travelers can find the latest road conditions on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.