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Interstate 705

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Interstate 705 marker

Interstate 705
Tacoma Spur
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-5
Defined by RCW 47.17.819
Maintained by WSDOT
Length: 1.50 mi[1] (2.41 km)
Existed: 1990 – present
History: Codified into law in 1979
Major junctions
South end: I‑5 / SR 7 in Tacoma
  SR 509 in Tacoma
North end: Schuster Parkway in Tacoma
Highway system
SR 704 SR 706

Interstate 705 (abbreviated I-705, also known as the Tacoma Spur[2]) is a short Interstate Highway spur route of Interstate 5 located entirely within Tacoma, Pierce, Washington, United States. I-705 serves as the connector between Interstate 5, Downtown Tacoma, Tacoma's waterfront, North Tacoma, and the Tacoma Dome. I-705 was the last portion of the Interstate Highway System to be constructed in Washington.

Route description[edit]

The Tacoma Spur begins as a continuation of Washington State Route 7 (SR 7) underneath I-5 in Tacoma, and has a posted speed limit of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) for the entire length (1.5 Miles).[1]

Traveling northbound as a continuation of SR 7, the first exit is for South 26th Street, which provides access to the Tacoma Dome and the Tacoma Amtrak station. A single-point urban interchange (SPUI) with SR 509 (South 21st Street) provides access to the University of Washington Tacoma campus, as well as the Port of Tacoma. The left two lanes of I-705 separate, providing access to A Street, as well as South 15th Street / Pacific Avenue, however travelers merging onto northbound I-705 can not access this exit. The Bridge of Glass, linking the Museum of Glass on the shorefront to downtown Tacoma, passes over I-705 as it continues north, paralleling the Thea Foss Waterway to the east, and Firemans Park to the west. A signalled at-grade intersection with Stadium Way marks the end of I-705 northbound.[3]

Traveling southbound towards I-5, I-705 begins with on ramps from Stadium Way South and from Schuster Parkway. Passing Firemans Park on the south, traffic from South 9th Street and A Street merge onto I-705. Traffic coming from Bates Technical College and South 13th Street join the freeway, as well as traffic from South A Street. A SPUI with SR 509 (South 21st Street) is the only exit in Tacoma, before either exiting onto I-5 southbound towards Portland, Oregon, I-5 northbound towards Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, or onto SR 7.[4]

Every year the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) conducts a series of surveys on its highways in the state to measure traffic volume. This is expressed in terms of average annual daily traffic (AADT), which is a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. In 2011, WSDOT calculated that as few as 26,000 cars used the spur at the continuation point from SR 7, and as many as 72,000 cars between the onramp from I-5 and SR 509.[5] The entire Tacoma Spur is listed on both the WSDOT List of Highways of Statewide Significance,[6] which marks the highway as a critical to connecting major communities in the state, and the National Highway System, a system of roads that are important to the nation's economy, defense and mobility.[7]


The Tacoma Spur was first codified into law by the Washington State Legislature in 1979;[8] however due to federal budget cuts,[2] construction on the freeway was not completed until 1990.[9] The highway was the last Interstate to be completed in the state of Washington.[10] The Tacoma City Council in 1992 proposed to name the freeway Martin Luther King Way, however that name was finally applied to nearby K Street.[11] Work on the single-point urban interchange, costing $29.4 million (equivalent to $48 million in 2015[12]), was completed in 1993 to accommodate the changes that were made to SR 509 through Tacoma.[13]

Exit list[edit]

I-705 northbound approaching SR 509

The entire highway is in Tacoma, Pierce County. All exits are unnumbered.

mi[1] km Destinations Notes
0.00 0.00 SR 7 south – Mount Rainier
I‑5 – Seattle, Portland
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; I-5 exit 133
0.06 0.10 East 26th Street – Tacoma Dome Northbound exit and southbound entrance
0.72 1.16 SR 509 north (South 21st Street) – Port of Tacoma Single-point urban interchange
0.88 1.42 Chihuly Bridge of Glass
1.15 1.85 A Street – Tacoma City Center Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.43 2.30 Stadium Way Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.50 2.41 To SR 163 (Schuster Parkway) – Ruston Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


Route map: Bing

  1. ^ a b c "State Highway Log Planning Report 2009 SR 2 to SR 971" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). p. 1718–9. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Harper, Robert (April 16, 1980). "12 State Road Projects Budget Casualties". The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington: Cowles Publishing Company). p. A2. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ Google (July 22, 2009). "I-705 Northbound" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ Google (July 22, 2009). "I-705 Southbound" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  5. ^ "2011 Annual Traffic Report" (PDF). WSDOT. p. 208. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "List of Highways of Statewide Significance" (PDF). WSDOT. July 26, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Washington State National Highway System (NHS) Designated Highways" (PDF). November 1, 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ "47.17.819: State route No. 705". Revised Code of Washington. Washington State Legislature. 1979. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ Virgin, Bill (October 26, 2006). "At 50, interstates feeling their age". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Hearst Corporation). 
  10. ^ Nelson, Robert T. (March 29, 1998). "In the 6th District, Dicks Keeps Delivering". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  11. ^ "K Street to get King's Name, Council Decides". Tacoma News Tribune (via NewsBank). December 9, 1992. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  12. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  13. ^ Higgins, Mark (March 2, 1993). "Senate Bill Provides Millions for Roads". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Hearst Corporation). p. B1. 

External links[edit]