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I-5 Through Tacoma Is Getting A "Widening" Makeover

Washington State Department Of Transportation
This is what I-5, running through Tacoma, will look like in 2020.

The section of I-5 running through Tacoma is getting a major makeover. H-O-V lanes and new northbound lanes are being built to ease bottlenecks and congestion.


To make the highway wider, two overpass bridges connecting East Tacoma with downtown will be demolished and rebuilt. The Pacific Avenue Overpass will be torn down in about two weeks.


“While we recognize this is an inconvenience for people for at least 11 months as the overpass is demolished, we look forward to the new overpass when it is rebuilt. One, it will be built to modern earthquake standards and two, it will have much better amenities for people who are cyclists as well as pedestrians,” says Doug Adamson, a spokesman with the State Department of Transportation


Once Pacific Avenue is completed, the second overpass will be torn down and reconstructed with bike lanes and sidewalks.

This will make way for three new lanes of northbound freeway beneath the overpasses. The current northbound lanes will become the H-O-V lanes. Also, sections of I-5 that still have the original 1960's concrete will be resurfaced. The entire project is expected to be finished in 2020.  

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.