Drivers who use Berkeley Street to cross I-5 in Lakewood will soon begin to notice a lot of construction activity around the overpass.
Contractor crews working on a City of Lakewood project will rebuild the Berkeley Street overpass by constructing a double-turn lane from southbound I-5 to Berkeley Street, one additional southbound lane across the overpass and improved sidewalks.
“This project demonstrates what happens when different government agencies partner to address a regional problem,” said Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson. “Traffic congestion in the I-5 corridor has a direct effect on the ability of military personnel, their families and veterans to access Madigan Army Medical Center. The City of Lakewood, Washington State Department of Transportation and Joint Base Lewis-McChord recognize this and are taking this step to alleviate the regular traffic bottlenecks near the hospital. This benefits the military community and the region as a whole.”
The project is intended to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at the Interstate 5/Berkeley Street interchange. The interchange, also known as the Freedom Bridge, sees frequent congestion for drivers going to Madigan Army Medical Center.
“We certainly appreciate how leaders at the City of Lakewood took the initiative to get the funding to make this project happen,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT regional administrator. “It really highlights how partnerships can get things done.”
The project complements previous WSDOT projects to improve I-5 traffic flow near JBLM, including building an auxiliary lane on southbound I-5 between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street.
Temporary left turn restriction for larger vehicles
Beginning Monday, Oct. 19, semi-trucks coming from either direction of I-5 will be prohibited from turning left onto the Berkeley Street overpass and will need to use alternate routes. The restriction will be in place due to narrowed lanes and reduced turning radii. The work is weather dependent and could be rescheduled. Throughout the project, drivers can also expect nighttime lane closures on I-5 and Berkeley Street.
The project is funded by a $5.7 million Department of Defense grant acquired by the City of Lakewood. WSDOT will oversee project construction for the city.
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