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Author Topic: WA I-705  (Read 812 times)

ErmineNotyours

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WA I-705
« on: June 04, 2018, 12:32:39 AM »

I first noticed road web sites about the time I had a daily commute into Tacoma, and read about the much disliked Interstate 705.  This was interesting, because I noticed on one of the overhead sign approaches on south I-5, one of the I-705 shields was missigned as state 705.  The freeway gets so little respect that even the state doesn't think it's a real Interstate.  I had to go back on a weekend and get this from a frontage road.  I only had a single-use camera with no zoom lens, and the morning light was not ideal, but the result is below.  Not long after I took this, the state noticed the error and covered it up with an Interstate shield that is an atypical design in this state for a TGS.  Google Street View

Sign blooper: I-705 signed as SR-705 by Arthur Allen, on Flickr

Interstate-Guide.com describes the full length of the freeway until its end with Schuster Parkway, though I have evidence that the Interstate officially ends a few blocks before this, even with the gore point to the A and 9th Street entrance ramp.  See Interchange Viewer Diagram.  A vestigial part of the north end of this freeway was built by the City of Tacoma, starting at Schuster Parkway and running under Murry Morgan bridge to one block south of the bridge.  There used to be a zig-zag drive up from the street some distance below the bridge to the bridge surface, but the top part was removed for this project, and the rest when the bridge was reconditioned.  The state turned part of Tacoma's project into I-705, but the very northern part is still Tacoma's.

1978 Washington State Highway Map and Guide detail showing Downtown Tacoma by Arthur Allen, on Flickr
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 12:49:10 AM by Bickendan »
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jakeroot

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 02:10:24 AM »

Interstate-Guide.com describes the full length of the freeway until its end with Schuster Parkway, though I have evidence that the Interstate officially ends a few blocks before this, even with the gore point to the A and 9th Street entrance ramp.  See Interchange Viewer Diagram.

Based on this document, I think it's safe to say that Google Maps is wrong, and that the 705 does indeed end even with the 9th St on-ramp. This was a point of contention in a previous thread (I thought I-705 ended at Stadium, but others indicated this to be false), but no one brought up any evidence to conclusively show the 705 ending prior to Stadium Way. This is the first true evidence I've seen that proves I-705 ends earlier than expected.

As for field evidence...

In the last year or so, WSDOT removed the only "FREEWAY ENTRANCE" sign from the Stadium Way on-ramp, but one does remain on the "on-ramp" at the southbound Schuster Parkway/Pacific Ave split. So perhaps WSDOT is catching on to that first stretch not being part of the interstate (never mind official documents already showing this to be the case). The 60 mph speed limit signs and reassurance shield don't appear until after the 9th St on-ramp, so I guess there's been some hints all along. The drop to 40 just after the Murray Morgan Bridge should have been an indicator, but WSDOT does occasionally drop limits prior to freeway endings (512 WB at I-5, 101 "EB" at I-5) so I didn't consider this to be conclusive evidence. The other giveaway that WSDOT doesn't maintain the roadway after 9th is that a small resurfacing project a year ago ended right at the gore point, and historically, that gore area used to be where Tacoma's markings (narrower lane markings than WSDOT standard) gave way to Bott's Dots, the 705's standard lane marker (until recently).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 09:45:13 AM »

Incidentally I-705 fits in with the state numbering convention with it meeting WA 7 at it's southern terminus.  Doesn't the legislation for the route date back to the late 1970s?  I'm assuming the numbering convention of "705" was probably intentional.

ErmineNotyours

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 10:39:35 AM »

Luckily it connects to a north-south highway with an odd number, which matches the requirement for a spur three-digit Interstate starting with an odd number.
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Alex

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 11:09:43 AM »

Interstate-Guide.com describes the full length of the freeway until its end with Schuster Parkway, though I have evidence that the Interstate officially ends a few blocks before this, even with the gore point to the A and 9th Street entrance ramp.  See Interchange Viewer Diagram.  A vestigial part of the north end of this freeway was built by the City of Tacoma, starting at Schuster Parkway and running under Murry Morgan bridge to one block south of the bridge.  There used to be a zig-zag drive up from the street some distance below the bridge to the bridge surface, but the top part was removed for this project, and the rest when the bridge was reconditioned.  The state turned part of Tacoma's project into I-705, but the very northern part is still Tacoma's.

Thanks for the clarification on this. I went ahead and updated the page for I-705 on interstate-guide and cited your post on the history of the north end.

thefraze_1020

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 12:07:08 PM »

Two points:

1.) I-705 is not numbered as a branch of SR 7 (although I can see why it seems that way). It is numbered in the conventional interstate way, an odd (spur) branch of I-5.

2.) The last word in what the actual terminus of the highway (according to WSDOT), can be found by viewing WSDOT's SRWeb. It is their in-house version of Google Street View, for all state routes.

Look at it here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/mapsdata/tools/srweb.htm

According to this, I-705 officially ends at milepost 1.50. Northbound, it is here: https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2542983,-122.4363112,3a,75y,342.83h,91.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9XbPVc4bjIiDZDoXt0VZqg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
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Bruce

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 08:20:30 PM »

Not long after I took this, the state noticed the error and covered it up with an Interstate shield that is an atypical design in this state for a TGS.  Google Street View

There's a similar shield on SR 518 eastbound approaching the airport exit:

Henry

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Re: WA I-705
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2018, 09:21:32 AM »

Seeing that it's 1.5 miles long, it would be nothing more than just a glorified exit ramp.
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