It’s a story of get a little, give a little on southbound Interstate 5 near the Tacoma Mall.
As early as Saturday, Sept. 21, crews will open a new auxiliary lane between South 38th and South 56th streets, according to the state Department of Transportation.
“The new lane will give South 38th Street travelers a dedicated lane to merge onto southbound I-5,” the department said in a news release.
That’s the good news.
The bad: The far left lane along that same stretch of southbound I-5 will close.
“This closure creates a median work zone allowing crews to construct two HOV sign structures, one of the final steps toward opening HOV connections between I-5 and state Route 16,” the department reported. “The left lane closure will be in place, around-the-clock, for approximately six weeks or until the work is finished.”
With the temporary configuration, southbound I-5 past the mall will have three general purpose lanes plus the new auxiliary lane.
That portion of freeway averages about 100,000 cars a day, so delays are expected.
The work is weather-dependent, so it could be put off a week or so.