LACEY - The Cabela's opening next month will be far from a routine retail event.
"This is a highly coordinated effort," said Blaine Martin, Lacey's finance director.
Lacey police and the Washington State Patrol have met weekly with company officials for the past couple of months, said Scott Spence, Lacey's assistant city manager.
Additional directional signs and reader boards will be used to help drivers navigate streets near the store to get to the parking lots, Spence said. He said the final plan for sign placements had not yet been laid out.
Cabela's also will pay overtime for police to direct traffic, said Spence, who was unsure how long extra officers would be needed for that task.
"We'll have a pretty substantial bill for that weekend," Cabela's spokesman John Castillo said.
Lacey also plans for the 350 employees to park somewhere other than the store's lots to make as many of the 1,100 spaces as possible available for shoppers, Spence said.
Castillo said he didn't expect major traffic problems because the store will be open 13 hours on the first day.
"It's not like a football game, when everybody comes at one time and leaves at one time," he said. "That will help to mitigate potential traffic problems. I don't think it's going to affect I-5."
Spence said he expected to release more details closer to the store's opening about suggested traffic routes to and from the store.
Workers recently added a third traffic lane at an off-ramp from I-5 headed southbound at Marvin Road, near the Cabela's store.
Spence said the new lane, paid for with federal and state government funds, was not built strictly for Cabela's but rather for the overall retail and residential boom in the city.
"It's for the cumulative development in the area," he said. "But it will help with the (Cabela's) traffic."