Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Just exactly what happened on Wednesday morning in Tacoma?

By Cara Mitchell

Overnight Tuesday, May 1, contractor Skanska switched traffic on southbound I-5 that temporarily reduced southbound I-5 to a single lane. All lanes were intended to re-open by 5 a.m. Wednesday, May 2. As we all know, that did not happen.

The work was delayed and all lanes of southbound I-5 through Tacoma and from eastbound State Route 16 to southbound I-5 didn’t reopen until around 9 a.m. We know this affected many people’s commute and it wasn’t what we intended.

This traffic shift was very large in scope. It involved travel lanes on two of our biggest state highways in Tacoma. We also know there was a collision in the work zone overnight that delayed some of the work. We are meeting with the contractor to find out more as to what happened, and to see what adjustments need to be made moving forward.

Contractor crews building HOV lanes in Tacoma close ramps and lanes on I-5 and SR 16 almost every night. Ninety percent of the time, those closures have reopened on time, if not early.

Even though the lanes didn’t reopen when we’d planned today, this traffic switch still signals a major milestone in bringing HOV lanes to Pierce County and replacing the original surface of I-5.

Please know that we do sympathize with your frustration over what happened this morning. Our promise to you is that we will work to ensure that something like this does not happen again.


Stuck in traffic due to Contractor lack of planning. said...

WSDOT - You Own the project. Act like an Owner who we intrust with the people's money. When I drove past Skanska the lack of ugency was underwhelming. There were other crew working non-opening the lanes (equipment operator etc...) who should have been helping fixing the screw up. Blame the accident..... Rubber necking construction workers?!? Find the superintendent and Project Manger and act like an owner / do your job. Don't be a gobergover worker push over. OWN the property!

WSDOT said...

WSDOT is taking action and holding the Contractor, a Design-Builder, responsible. There will be fines assessed to the Contractor. What happened on Wednesday morning is not acceptable and WSDOT is taking steps to ensure that it does not happen again.

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