Following very timely action by private contractors, Washington State Department of Transportation is saying that at least two lanes of freeway traffic past DuPont in the heart of the South Sound will reopen by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Crane and heavy lift trucking firms removed debris from an earlier accident that has been blocking all southbound freeway traffic for three days.
Since Monday’s morning’s deadly Amtrak derailment, wrecked train cars and engines had blockaded the freeway, forcing lengthly detours for all heavy vehicles and most traffic headed toward Lacey-Olympia, Portland and beyond from Tacoma-Seattle. Three persons died in the crash that sent 12 passenger coaches and an engine crashing onto freeway traffic and adjacent land.
The right lane of the highway will remain closed overnight, while crews finish additional emergency repairs. WSDOT's goal is to reopen the third lane of the highway and the adjacent Mounts Road on-ramp in time for the Thursday morning commute. For the safety of crews and travelers, drivers are asked to keep their speed below 45 mph.