I5 - Port of Tacoma Interchange Improvement
This project will provide road, intersection and interchange improvements of great value to the Port of Tacoma, the surrounding industrial area and businesses in the Cities of Fife and Tacoma. The project is a multi-phased plan to improve the Port of Tacoma Road/Interstate 5 interchange, Pacific Highway East and the Port of Tacoma Road. The project has been developed in phases over more than a decade, with past work on surface streets completed and a wetland mitigation site nearing completion. The project will reconfigure the existing interchange to a split diamond with one-way couplet. The Port of Tacoma Road and its existing bridge over I-5 will be converted to one-way southbound traffic while the parallel 34th Avenue East and its new bridge over I-5.
The Port of Tacoma indirectly accounts for more than 43,000 jobs and generates $637 million in annual wages in Pierce County. Design, Value Engineering and Traffic Modeling studies have confirmed the need for the improvements and identified an alternative configuration for the interchange and the I-5/ POT road ramps. The interchange reconstruction will improve level of service for trucks traveling to and from the Port of Tacoma. The project will improve the operation of the I-5 mainline and all streets and intersections in the project vicinity. Traffic analysis indicates that the entire area would be in gridlock conditions in 2040 if anticipated growth occurred without project construction. With project construction, every intersection in the project vicinity will operate at level of service “D” or better and queue lengths will be reduced from thousands of feet to hundreds. Proposed construction of the SR 167 freeway extension will substantially improve access to the east portion of the Port of Tacoma but this project is still necessary in order to provide access to the west portion of the Port.
Documents of Interest: