Monday, July 15, 2019

Help is on the way for trucks and travelers

Construction of a wider 70th Avenue East Bridge over I-5 in Fife begins this fall

By Lauren Foster

Do you regularly experience delays on the 70th Avenue East Bridge over Interstate 5? For residents and workers in Tacoma and Fife, we know the answer is a resounding yes.

The bridge is the designated route for trucks heading to the Port of Tacoma from the area’s warehouse and industrial centers, which can create backups that last for several hours each day.

Here’s some good news: We’re all one step closer to a much more reliable trip.
Trucks and cars line up on 70th Avenue East Bridge throughout the day. A new,
wider bridge and roundabout will improve reliability.

Construction on WSDOT’s SR 167 Completion Project, part of WSDOT’s Puget Sound Gateway Program, is getting underway this fall with the construction of a new 70th Avenue East Bridge. The existing two-lane bridge will be replaced with a new four-lane bridge just south of its current location, and the project includes a 12-foot wide path for pedestrians and bicycles. The new bridge will provide a more reliable route for freight and the community.

WSDOT announced its award of the design-build contract to Guy F. Atkinson Construction today, July 15. The firm will complete the project’s design and start construction early next year.
The new 70th Avenue East Bridge project includes a roundabout and 12-foot wide path for pedestrians
and bicycles. WSDOT expects to open the bridge to traffic by mid-2021.

Here’s what travelers should know about construction and schedule:
  • The project is expected to start this fall with crews breaking ground in November and significant construction beginning in early 2020.
  • The new 70th Avenue East Bridge is scheduled to open to traffic by mid-2021.
  • Crews will also build a new roundabout at the 70th Avenue East/SR 99 intersection and construct several hundred feet of new trail and a new Interurban Trail parking lot.
  • Relocating the bridge allows WSDOT to construct a new SR 167/I-5 interchange in Fife. The interchange is the first step toward completing the SR 167 corridor between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma. The stretch between I-5 and the Port of Tacoma is scheduled to open in 2026, and WSDOT expects to open SR 167 between Puyallup and I-5 in 2028.
The 70th Avenue East Bridge Replacement is the first of three construction stages for the SR 167 Completion Project, with the final stage completing in 2028. You can see what the new SR 167 corridor will look like in our project video:
The SR 167 Completion Project and the SR 509 Completion Project make up the Puget Sound Gateway Program that, once completed, will enhance the state's economic competitiveness, both nationally and globally, by connecting the state's largest ports to key distribution centers in King and Pierce counties that serve eastern Washington and beyond.