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Posted on: May 27, 2021

Traffic Updates

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ROAD CLOSURES

No TOTAL ROAD closures WITH DETOURS to report AT THIS TIME. PLEASE COME BACK AND CHECK FOR UPDATES. 


ADDITIONAL PROJECTS UNDERWAY AND MINOR TRAFFIC INTERRUPTIONS

WEEKEND TRAFFIC INTERRUPTIONS JUNE 4-7 

The City of Tacoma is doing more work at SR509 and Taylor Way this weekend, which will mean traffic interruptions in Fife from June 4-7. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction at SR 509 and Taylor Way from 8 p.m. on Friday (June 4) until 6 a.m., Monday (June 7). Here's what you should know: 
* No left turns from SR 509 to Taylor Way or to 54th Ave E.
* Access to SR 509 from Taylor Way will be right turn (southbound) only.
* Access to 54th Avenue East in Fife permitted only from northbound SR 509.
* No access to SR 509 from 54th Avenue East in Fife during this work. 
* Taylor Way and the remaining Blair/Hylebos peninsula may be accessed on northbound SR 509 via the Hylebos Bridge.
* From southbound SR 509, Fife/54th Avenue E./Highway 99 may be accessed via Port of Tacoma Road.
* Trucks are not permitted on Alexander Avenue between SR 509 and Highway 99, daily from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.




TRAFFIC SURVEY FOR 54TH AVENUE EAST AND TAYLOR WAY: OPEN UNTIL JUNE 7

We need your help! The City of Fife is conducting a traffic survey for the area around 54th Avenue East and Taylor Way to improve traffic conditions. Do you travel that stretch often? Do you have thoughts on traffic improvements? You should take our traffic survey here -  https://www.fife54corridor.com/about/#survey

Please take the survey by June 7!


WSDOT 70th roundabout UPDATE

The next phase for the roundabout at 70th Avenue East opened the weekend on May 22, 2021. WSDOT opened the northbound lanes of traffic through the roundabout. The next phase will come in mid-2021, this summer, when the 70th Avenue East (Wapato Way East Bridge) bridge opens to traffic. Here's what else to know: 

BACKGROUND 

The debut of the new roundabout at SR 99 and 70th Avenue East has come in stages this year and the roundabout will not be fully open until the new 70th Avenue bridge is completed and open, most likely in June 2021. Opening the 70th roundabout in phases has allowed construction to continue without the major inconvenience of a full road closure. The first section of the roundabout, heading northbound, opened in February.  The second section of the roundabout, heading southbound, opened May 22. This work is part of WSDOT's Puget Sound Gateway Project. Here's a summary of what to know and expect:

•    WSDOT’s 70th Avenue East Bridge contractor will be shifting southbound SR 99 traffic into the new roundabout to allow crews to demolish part of existing southbound SR 99.
•    This traffic shift makes it possible to keep SR 99 open to traffic throughout construction. 
•    The traffic shift will remain in place throughout construction. 
•    There will be two southbound and two northbound lanes open through the roundabout once the shift is made; however, drivers should expect periodic lane closures as construction progresses. 
•    Drivers should slow down when entering the roundabout; the posted speed limit on SR 99 is 35 mph and a safe roundabout speed is 15 mph. 
•    Drivers should give trucks plenty of space in the roundabout and should not drive next to or attempt to pass trucks in the roundabout. By law, trucks are allowed to straddle lanes in the roundabout.  
•    During construction, the roundabout will be for through-traffic only; no turns will be allowed. 
•    WSDOT plans to fully open the roundabout when the new 70th Avenue East replacement bridge opens in mid-2021. 
•    The new bridge and roundabout will reduce the delays drivers currently experience on the existing bridge and SR 99/70th Avenue East intersection, as well as improve safety for everyone who drives, walks, bikes or rolls through the area. 


HAVE ROUNDABOUT ANXIETY? HERE'S HELP 

A few tips on how to drive a roundabout: https://wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/default.htm

A handy guide to print out: https://wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2014/09/23/webRoundabout_Folio_Statewide_English_040615.pdf

And here are videos to watch: 

A five-part video series about driving a roundabout: https://wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/default.htm#learnmore

Learn more about how roundabouts work and how they improve traffic circulation - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-olqiG42Ud4

How to drive a roundabout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2nQ__1YJps

Bellingham roundabout traffic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFBuwIV4isg 

Here is what not to do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDaQZUzJCNM

Additional Resources

WSDOT Project website -- https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR167/completion/default.htm 

A WSDOT project PDF with a deep dive into the details - https://wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020/12/02/SR167-Fall2020-Newsletter.pdf

The WSDOT construction website -- https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr167/completion/construction 

The WSDOT construction cameras -- https://app.oxblue.com/open/atkinson/WSDOT

The WSDOT Roundabout Blog -- https://wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/coming-around-to-roundabouts-on-sr-99.html

SR99-70th roundabout photo




OTHER UPDATES AND PROJECTS

SAFETY CAMERA ENFORCEMENT

Fife students are heading back to school in March, which means school zone safety camera enforcement will resume in Fife beginning March 2. It’s so important as our students are out and about again that local drivers keep their speed down. There’s no question about the effectiveness of speed cameras in reducing the likelihood of a crash, but did you also know that speed cameras also reduce the likelihood of fatalities? (read more at https://www.iihs.org/topics/speed). Please note: 

  • Our school zone safety cameras are located along Valley Avenue East and 20th Street East.
  • Flashing lights are active between 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 2:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days, which currently are set as Tuesday through Friday beginning in March.
  •  A reduced speed of 20 m.p.h. is imposed during these hours.

TAYLOR WAY PROJECT  

The City of Tacoma started a construction project in July along Taylor Way from East 11th Street to SR 509. There will be paving, utility placement, railroad crossing replacement and more that might lead to some traffic interruptions in and around Fife. This is the beginning of the project with more work to come in the next several months. You can read the full details at the City of Tacoma’s website.  

SPEED LIMIT NOTICE ALONG PACIFIC HIGHWAY EAST

Our partners at WSDOT  would like us to pass along that drivers who travel along State Route 99 in Fife will notice a lower speed limit. Drivers will notice a temporary regulatory speed limit reduction along SR 99 in Fife. The speed limit will be reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph for approximately one mile near the 70th Avenue East bridge.

The speed limit reduction will be in place on both directions of SR 99 from milepost 0.40 near 59th Avenue Court East to milepost 1.18 near the 70th Avenue East bridge. Those mileposts are near a Washington State Department of Transportation project to complete SR 167, build a new 70th Avenue East bridge and construct a new roundabout at the SR 99 / 70th Avenue East intersection.
 
The reduced speed limit is the result of a coordinated effort between WSDOT and law enforcement to ensure safe traffic operations during construction. The reduced speed limit will be combined with increased enforcement efforts to encourage compliance.
 
The temporary speed limit reduction will remain in effect until construction is complete in July 2021. It is WSDOT’s intent to evaluate after construction if the speed reduction should become permanent. 
 
Real-time traffic information is available on the WSDOT app. Advance information is available on the Pierce County Construction and Traffic Update web page: https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/travel/construction-updates/pierce



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