Washington State: Speed limit lowered to 50 mph at Tacoma’s crash-prone I-5 curves

Drivers through two freeway construction zones in Tacoma will be restricted to 50 mph starting Monday, the state confirmed.

The speed restriction comes in response to a crash March 26 on southbound Interstate 5 where authorities say a speeding semitruck knocked the center barrier loose near the Highway 16 junction — the eighth truck crash in the vicinity since Sept. 30.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) had marked an advisory 50 mph speed limit in December, and spokespersons said last week a mandatory 50 mph limit was infeasible and maybe unenforceable.

Since then, regional administrator John Wynands held new talks with State Patrol officials and decided to make 50 mph mandatory, said Kris Rietmann, WSDOT communications director. Contractors worked over the weekend to install 70-80 signs that show the new speed limit, she said.