UPDATE: Saturday, Nov. 23
All of the HOV connected lanes at Interstate 5 and State Route 16 in Tacoma are now open.
It's time. We're thrilled to announce that design-builder Skanska has started opening the new high-occupancy-vehicle lanes at the Interstate 5 and State Route 16 interchange in Tacoma.
This morning, Thursday, Nov. 21, the contractor opened the southbound I-5 HOV lane to westbound SR 16 HOV. Over the next few days, the contractor will finish striping and installing barrier on the remaining HOV connections. Based on their schedule and weather permitting, we anticipate opening the remaining HOV connections on Saturday, Nov. 23:
- Eastbound SR 16 HOV to northbound and southbound I-5 HOV
- Northbound I-5 HOV to westbound SR 16 HOV
|This photo shows where the lane of eastbound SR 16 HOV splits to either northbound I-5 HOV|
(to the left) or to southbound I-5 (to the right).
Once these HOV ramp connections are open, vanpools, busses and carpool users can merge into the southbound or northbound I-5 HOV lane on the left side of the interstate, and use the dedicated HOV ramps to westbound SR 16.
Keep in mind, there is no access to South Sprague Avenue or Union Avenue from the SR 16 HOV lanes. Carpoolers traveling on I-5 to SR 16 to South Sprague or Union Avenue will need to use the same exit to SR 16 that they always have. If you're in a carpool traveling on I-5 headed to Fircrest, Point Defiance or Gig Harbor, you can take the westbound SR 16 HOV exits.
As always this time of year, weather may impact the timeline. We will provide updates on TacomaTraffic.com if the schedules change drastically. This will also be where to found all closure and detour info for Pierce County projects.
In case you missed it, make sure to see our video that shows drivers how the HOV connections work, and what to remember when you're using them.
If it fits your commute, now might be a good time to consider forming a new vanpool or carpool. RideshareOnline.com has all the help you need to take advantage of the new HOV connections in Tacoma.
With 11 years and three construction projects in the rear-view mirror, we along with you are grateful that on-going construction at this massive interchange, our Nalley Valley viaduct, is nearing completion. To the 200,000 travelers that use this interchange every day, your patience through all of this has been greatly appreciated.
As we near the end of this construction, we continue to ask travelers to watch speeds in work zones and give construction crews the room they need to finish this important project.