Three new ramp meters that went into effect on I-5 through Tacoma and Fife on Tuesday have caused some backups on side streets near the on-ramps.

Aerial footage showed congestion in areas near the meters as drivers waited to turn from side streets onto the ramps.

The meters are traffic signals that respond to real-time conditions on the ramp and the freeway. 

The Washington Department of Transportation said the meters "improve merging and provide more consistent travel times during congested periods on the freeway."

The meters were installed at: 

  • East 28th Street
  • 54th Avenue East
  • Port of Tacoma Road

WSDOT said the ramp meters improve safety by creating more consistent gaps between vehicles. 

FAQ on WSDOT ramp meters 

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