Checking back on speed limit around Tacoma Narrows Bridge

The in basket: It was almost a year ago that Michael Johnson asked the Road Warrior the reasoning behind the 55 mph speed limit on Highway 16 for miles on either end of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. There didn’t seem to be any need for the lower limit with the new bridge keeping traffic flowing freely.

State highway officials said at the time they were in favor of making the limit near the bridge the same 60 mph as most other places on the highway, but had run afoul of an environmental snag. Raising a speed limit where some pollution levels were higher than allowed needed some approvals the highway builders didn’t have. And getting that OK looked like it could take a while.

I asked this month how it was going.

The out basket: It’s likely to happen eventually, state highway officials say, but now it’s waiting for something else. The State Patrol asked that the limit be left at 55 mph until the huge construction project at Nalley Valley where Highway 16 and Interstate 5 intersect in Tacoma is completed.

“I believe the increase will occur once the work is done,” says Traffic Operations Engineer Steve Bennett of the state.

5 thoughts on “Checking back on speed limit around Tacoma Narrows Bridge

  1. But the speed limit at the Nalley Valley is 40mph, so why would it matter what the speed limit is on the rest of hwy 16? Would the speed limit at the Nalley Valley be raised as well?

  2. Wait until Hwy 16 is complete? Hah. That’s been going on for years. Don’t look for an increase in speed limits in our lifetime. Notice al the extra concrete that has been poured. No doubt someone has a plan to use that space. It owuld be nice if they could do it without rework to the tune of a couple million.

  3. Traveled that in my weekly commute at 60 no problem for 9 years..just another reason if your not careful to be tagged for revenue , so wish they would spend more time watching those aggressive drivers.

  4. Thanks for sharing this informative information. Always there is sign board on every Bridge to slow down the speed of the vehicle to avoid hazards. Slow driving is the best way to cross a bridge. We should always follow the rules to make the driving safe.

    Regulatory Signs

  5. Travis, thanks for the update. I’m in agreement with Allen though. The speed limit through the construction area is 40 and has been for as long as I can remember so how would raising the rest of Hwy 16 to 60 affect that? And I too often travel the route going 60-64 with no hassles from law enforcement but it’s because of people going 50-55 (especially in the left lane) that I’d like to see it raised to match the rest of the route.

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