WSDOT is proposing to improve mobility and reliability on I-5 in Southern Pierce County, in the vicinity of Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM). This section of I-5 experiences frequent congestion resulting in extended travel times and reduced freight mobility, especially during evening commute times.
The purpose of the I-5 JBLM Vicinity Congestion Relief Project is to:
- Relieve congestion on I-5 within the vicinity of JBLM.
- Improve local and mainline system efficiency.
- Enhance mobility and support the regional HOV network.
- Improve safety and operations.
- Increase transit and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) opportunities.
The project would make improvements to I-5 as described and shown below:
- One new lane in each direction on I-5 from Center Drive to north of the Steilacoom-DuPont Road interchange.
- Designation of the new I-5 lanes for HOV from Mounts Road (Exit 116) to Thorne Lane (Exit 123) northbound and Thorne Lane to Steilacoom-DuPont Road (Exit 119) southbound.
- A new northbound auxiliary lane from Center Drive (Exit 118) to Steilacoom-DuPont Road (Exit 119).
- A reconfigured interchange at Steilacoom-DuPont Road.
- A new extension of Steilacoom-DuPont Road to connect the local street network to the reconfigured interchange.
- Reconfiguration of the Steilacoom-DuPont Road intersection at Wilmington Drive/Barksdale Avenue.
- A new shared use bicycle and pedestrian path through the interchange connecting the JBLM DuPont Gate to Steilacoom-DuPont Road and Wilmington Drive.
- Construction of two noise walls.
- Supporting features such as stormwater management, illumination, traffic signals, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and signing would also be included.
How Has the Project Changed?
Since the North Study Area EA was published in 2017, three project elements have changed:
- A design for the Exit 119 interchange has been identified.
- The new lanes on I-5 between Mounts Road (Exit 116) and Thorne Lane (Exit 123) will operate as HOV (2+ passengers) lanes instead of general purpose. The HOV lanes will be located on the inside lane.
- The Gravelly Thorne Connector will be a shared use path only and will allow use by emergency vehicles. No cars will be allowed on the Gravelly Thorne Connector.
The impacts of these changes, as well as the other project elements, are evaluated in the SEA.
WSDOT plans to continue the engineering and environmental review through early 2021. The project would be constructed using a Design Build contract. Construction is currently planned to occur between mid-2022 and late 2024.
For More Information
To view a detailed description of the project, please see Chapter 2 of the Supplemental Environmental Assessment.