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New I-5 interchange at Smokey Point to open Friday

ARLINGTON — The latest in a series of interchange improvements to Interstate 5 at Smokey Point is ahead of schedule.

Washington State Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that a new on-ramp from SR 531 to southbound I-5 will open in Arlington at 5 a.m. Aug. 28, nearly six months ahead of schedule.

The new ramp will help relieve backup on SR 531 (172nd Street NE, Exit 206), said WSDOT project engineer Amir Ahmadi.

"We're excited to open this ramp ahead of Labor Day weekend," Ahmadi said. "Drivers should notice less congestion and faster travel times right away."

The new onramp will provide westbound SR 531 drivers a free right hand turn onto the southbound on-ramp. Currently, those drivers have to use a traffic signal to access southbound I-5, creating long backups toward Smokey Point.

In July, WSDOT completed work on a new off-ramp from southbound I-5 to SR 531, and has plans to construct or improve the remaining two ramps at the intersection.

The project is slated for completion next year.

For more information on the project, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov

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