A big milestone was reached at the newly upgraded Interstate 5/ Thorne Lane interchange in Pierce County.
The Washington State Department of Transportation design-build contractor Atkinson Construction opened the second new Thorne Lane bridge. The bridge serves travelers exiting from southbound I-5 to neighborhoods off Thorne Lane and Murray Road in Lakewood.
The new bridge creates a new driving experience for southbound I-5 travelers exiting to Thorne Lane. Drivers will now encounter a left turn only at the end of the ramp, taking them across the new bridge to reach the Murray Road roundabout. There, they can choose to either cross the new “high” bridge to go west to the Tillicum neighborhood or go east to Woodbrook neighborhood.
Construction will continue in the area while crews finish building connecting ramps and a barrier-separated collector/distributor lane that will carry traffic between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street, parallel to southbound I-5.
Until then, here’s what travelers need to know:
- Ramp access to southbound I-5 at the Thorne Lane interchange is available only from the Tillicum neighborhood via Thorne Lane. Drivers will temporarily continue to cross the railroad tracks to reach the Thorne Lane on-ramp to southbound I-5.
- Travelers coming from Murray Road, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Logistics Gate or the Woodbrook neighborhood will detour via northbound I-5 to Gravelly Lake Drive, then onto southbound I-5.
The New Bridges
On Friday, October 23, crews opened the new 344-foot long Thorne Lane “high” bridge that spans all lanes of I-5 and the railroad tracks. It connects local streets using new roundabouts at Murray Road and Union Avenue.
The two new Thorne Lane interchange bridges allow I-5 to be widened and eliminates delays travelers have historically faced waiting to cross the existing railroad tracks.
Old bridge demolition was completed Saturday, November 7.
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