Brace for more I-5 delays this weekend

The second weekend of Interstate 5 lane closures in the Lacey area is scheduled to begin tonight.

Two northbound lanes from about Sleater-Kinney Road to the Nisqually exit are to be shut down starting at 7 tonight. Both lanes will be closed by 10 p.m. They are set to reopen at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Closures will start again 7 p.m. Saturday and remain until noon Sunday.

The closures for road repairs will leave one lane open for traffic.

Judging by last weekend’s closures in the southbound freeway lanes in Lacey, traffic delays could be one to three miles long, depending on the time of day.

Backups were longest in the couple of hours before the lanes were reopened each morning, said Kelly Stowe, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Transportation.

At 10:20 a.m. Sunday, she said, the backup was about three miles, from DuPont to Mounts Road.

“We were very lucky to see the (length of) backups we saw last weekend,” she said. “It means people paid attention and adjusted their travel times. The best times to travel are Saturday and Sunday afternoons.”

The lanes are being closed as part of a repair project in Lacey and Tacoma. Crews are replacing 297 broken concrete panels in the freeway and embedding 56,700 metal dowel bars into the concrete, as well as smoothing the entire 25 miles.

During last weekend’s closures, Stowe said, 30 of the 12-by-15-foot concrete panels were removed and new concrete poured.

Weeknight closures will continue on I-5 between Lacey and Tacoma from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The project will continue through the summer.

Closure of all northbound lanes between Marvin Road and Nisqually, scheduled for the night of April 24, has been canceled. Stowe said the contractor feels he can do the work with a double-lane closure only.

Information on the project and on lane closures as well as other I-5 projects in Tacoma this spring and summer is available at www.tacomatraffic.com.

Mike Archbold: 253-597-8692