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Posted on: October 9, 2020

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ROAD CLOSURES

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ROAD REOPENINGS

20TH STREET EAST 

A section of 20th Street East/20th Street Drive East in Fife was closed from Feb. 1 to Feb. 12, 2021, but all work is completed and the road has reopened.  The project was part of the WSDOT I-5 widening project that is adding high occupancy vehicle lanes and the new bridge. Find out more about this important WSDOT project here.


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.

ADDITIONAL PROJECTS UNDERWAY

WATER UTILITY WORK- MarcH 5-6, 2021

Crews working on behalf of the City of Tacoma are installing a new water main on Taylor Way on the Fife side of SR  509. The work is being done to double the size of the water supply line. That increase will improve water flow necessary for future growth. Drivers in the area can expect a lane closure, but there should be no interruption in water service. Those who live in the area might notice some sediment in water as this work is underway, but the sediment is not harmful and can be cleared by allowing the taps to run for a few minutes. (Please note this project was originally scheduled for February 20 and then February 26, and was postponed due to weather and other delays).

A NEW ROUNDABOUT AT SR 99/70TH OPENED IN FEBRUARY 2021

WSDOT is about to hit a milestone on the Puget Sound Gateway project with an upcoming traffic rerouting we want to be sure Fife residents know about. 

WSODT is getting ready to move northbound SR 99 traffic in Fife to access the new SR 99/70th Avenue East roundabout. The new roundabout is part of the 70th Avenue East Bridge Replacement Project.

The shift will be noticeable, so here are a few pointers and background details. 

Drivers will be able to use the new roundabout starting sometime in February, although an exact date has not yet been selected (we’ll keep you updated on that).   

WSDOT would like drivers to know: 

    Shifting the traffic into the new roundabout will allow crews to build the southbound lanes (see illustration below).  This traffic shift makes it possible to keep SR 99 open to traffic throughout construction. 

    There are two northbound lanes in the roundabout and there will be two southbound lanes open during construction. 

    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. 

    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 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.

Additional Resources

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

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

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

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

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

SR99-70th roundabout photo

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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