Is our Tacoma I-5 traffic nightmare nearly over? Well …

Is our Tacoma I-5 traffic nightmare nearly over? Well ...
2 hurt in crash that closes lanes for 3 hours
Question: I saw a headline somewhere that said theres an end in sight to Tacomas traffic nightmare. Is that true? Please say it is.

Some of the soul-crushing projects on Interstate 5 through the Tacoma Dome area will end soon, but another big one is set to start in February and last nearly three years.

The headline in question was posted Nov. 5 by Q13 Fox News: After 18 years, theres an end in sight to Tacomas traffic nightmare.

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We have to admit that tease made our heart go pitter-pat. We here at Traffic Q&A Headquarters have spent a number — a high, high number — of hours sitting in traffic on I-5 near the T-dome, so we eagerly clicked the Q13 link.

Tacoma has dealt with construction on I-5 for two decades, but the good news for commuters, all those construction cones are going to be gone soon as construction nears its final few projects.

It then segued into an interview with a fellow who travels I-5 through Tacoma regularly, who dutifully recounted his frustrations and hopes for the future.

I venture to say this is the worst stretch of freeway I have to deal with, Chris Crow told the Seattle-based news outlet.

You wont get an argument here, but the contention that the pain is nearly over is, well, debatable.

Its true, Mitchell said, that three major projects through the Tacoma area are in the mop-up phase. They are:

▪ I-5 M Street to Portland Avenue HOV, which replaced pavement and widened the freeway to add carpool lanes and other improvements.

▪ I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road-northbound HOV, which replaced the northbound I-5 Puyallup River bridge and made other improvements.

▪ I-5-state Route 16 realignment-HOV structure and connections, which is adding ramps and overpasses to tie I-5 carpool lanes to those on state Route 16.

The HOV projects are in their final weeks now, Mitchell said, and the connections project is scheduled to be finished next year — summer time frame.

Two men were taken to Pierce County area hospitals after a crash on Pacific Avenue South that closed southbound lanes for three hours, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A 46-year-old Spanaway man was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, while a 20-year-old Kent man was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.

About 10:30 p.m. Friday, the Spanaway man was northbound on Pacific Avenue, about a mile south of Tacoma, attempting to turn westbound onto 115th St. S. Thats when he crashed into the Kent man, traveling southbound.

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Posted in Tacoma