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Tacoma drivers face new construction work slowdowns

A bad commute is about to get worse in Tacoma - at least for now.

Tacoma drivers are familiar with the longtime construction congested area.

The Washington Department of Transportation reduced the eastbound SR 16 ramp to I-5 north to a single this week. That lane closure will be in place until this fall while crews can finish an HOV lane project.

They added drivers need to pay extra attention to any new changes.

"I do all of the back roads as much as I can just to try to stay away from all of that," said driver Casey Enos.

For eastbound SR 16 drivers, to get around the backups, there's a detour that uses SR 7.

In the other direction, relief is coming soon. Crews are expected to remove over a mile of barrier and rejoin the southbound lanes on I-5 south near the Tacoma Dome.

Even with that, the hope for some is to limit the time on the highway altogether.

"I'm actually relocating to Tacoma, so hopefully I won't be on I-5 anymore at all,” said Brie Carranza.