CHOKEPOINTS

Diverging Diamond interchange is making progress in Lacey

May 23, 2019, 6:53 AM
Diverging Diamond wsdot...
(WSDOT)
(WSDOT)

A lot of drivers are going to get their first look at the state’s newest interchange as they drive around for Memorial Day. This diverging diamond feature is the first of its kind in Washington state.

KIRO Radio Traffic Townhall: Talking road rage, distracted driving, and more

If you haven’t traveled between Tacoma and Olympia lately, you will notice a big change around Lacey. Work has been underway for two months on the new interchange at Marvin Road. The Washington State Department of Transportation has moved a lot of dirt and the area looks quite a bit different.

WSDOT has also started paving a new frontage road that runs along the freeway in the southbound direction. I drove through this spot last weekend and it really feels a lot wider with that lane to your right, even though it’s not part of the freeway. I-5 has a different feel and is, visually, much different.

As for the project itself, work is on hold for the Memorial Day weekend, but a major change is coming next week.

“We’ve reached a point in the construction where we have to work where people normally drive,” said Doug Adamson with the Washington Department of Transportation.

The Marvin Road overpass will be closed from Friday night, May 31, to Monday morning, June 3. The off-ramps to Marvin Road will also be closed, but when they re-open, the detour that drivers have been using on southbound I-5 to Marvin Road will be gone.

“All traffic comes off the southbound exit to Marvin Road has been detoured up and around local streets to come back onto southbound Marvin Road, while we essentially rebuild one quadrant of the overpass,” Adamson said.

The Marvin Road detour has been in place since mid-April. Drivers will once again be able to turn left at the light, over I-5 to the shopping area.

This is the first diverging diamond interchange under construction in the state. There are plans to build one where Highway 18 meets I-90 in Snoqualmie and another where the extension of Highway 167 crosses I-5 in Fife, which is part of the Gateway Project.

If you don’t know what a diverging diamond is, be sure to check out the video here.

The simple explanation is that you drive on the opposite side of the road than you are used to when you go over the freeway. Follow the signs. This allows you to make a direct left turn onto freeway on-ramps without having to worry about cross or on-coming traffic.

The layout reduces crashes and congestion. It’s a little weird your first time, but it will make sense after you try it.

The interchange is expected to open in 2020.

Chokepoints

Northgate light rail...
Chris Sullivan

Light rail finally reaches Northgate, a promise 25 years in the making

Sound Transit opens light rail service to Northgate on Oct. 2, 2021. It is the culmination of a promise made to voters 25 years ago.
16 hours ago
West Seattle Bridge...
Chris Sullivan

A look inside the West Seattle Bridge with repairs set to kick off

KIRO Radio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan takes us inside the West Seattle Bridge, as workers begin repairs they say are on schedule.
6 days ago
ferry...
Chris Sullivan

New ferry line cutting education and enforcement underway

Ferry line cutters beware. The state is stepping up enforcement to make up for the loss of the HERO line.
6 days ago
drivers...
Chris Sullivan

State ending hotline used to tattle on bad drivers

The phone number you can use to report drivers violating HOV lane rules and ferry line cutters in Washington is going away.
8 days ago
Good to Go...
Chris Sullivan

Good to Go sends out first toll statements from new system

Washington's Good to Go tolling system got an upgrade earlier this summer, and now the first bills and statements are coming out.
8 days ago
Rain Seattle, wet weather...
Chris Sullivan

Rain is coming; Sully’s wet weather driving 101

Get your Washington Driver's Manual out. The first heavy rain of the summer is on its way, and we want to make sure you're prepared to drive in wet weather.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Diverging Diamond interchange is making progress in Lacey