City Center Access Project

Online Open House

Our Solution

Planning for Federal Way’s Future

We determined a modified interchange with an overcrossing at S 324th Street and extended I-5 access ramps serving S 320th Street and S 324th Street would support the project’s goal and improve operations on I-5.

This solution is intended to meet the needs of the City Center in 2045. Our study showed 50 percent of future drivers will end their peak period trips in a City Center with bigger buildings, more multifamily housing, and more commercial development. 

Additionally, with Federal Way’s population and traffic congestion forecast to grow, residents will need to access City Center with a range of transportation options. This solution offers benefits to all modes:

  • Cars and trucks – Improved traffic flow on S 320th Street and ease of access to City Center from I-5.
  • Buses and light rail – Local street connections to future Link light rail station and expanded transit network, including extended HOV lanes on S 320th Street to support Bus Rapid Transit.
  • Bicycles, skateboards and scooters – A nonmotorized facility on S 324th Street that crosses I-5 creates connections to existing and planned transit hubs and trail networks, including the BPA trail.
  • Pedestrians and people with wheelchairs – A safer pedestrian crossing over I-5 at S 324th and S 320th streets creates access to the future Link light rail station and transit throughout the area.

Next Steps

The City Center Access Project team will present this solution to Federal Way’s City Council on November 5, 2019. The Council will vote to confirm the solution by the end of the year.

We will present a summary of the comments from our 2019 public outreach, including this open house, at City Council’s November 5 meeting. Scroll down to learn more and share your thoughts!

Scroll down to tell us what you think!

Read this information, then use the comment forms to tell us what you think.

New overcrossing and extended ramps at S 324th Street

The interchange modification would be located just south of the existing ramps at S 320th Street. The extended ramps would distribute drivers to both S 320th Street and S 324th Street, freeing up space on S 320th Street for drivers headed outside of City Center.

Hover your mouse over the map to see the proposed solution.

Hover your mouse over the map to see the proposed solution.

Existing 320th rampsFuture 324th ramps

How will I get to Federal Way from I-5?

Our proposed solution keeps the existing ramps at S 320th Street and extends those ramps so drivers can also enter or exit at S 324th Street. 

A new overcrossing at S 324th Street would be elevated above the on and off ramps.  

The extended ramps would allow drivers to choose between exiting I-5 at S 320th Street or S 324th Street, depending on their final destination. 

We are still studying some design options for how traffic would flow in that area. These options are described below. 

Hover your mouse over the map to see the proposed solution.

Entering Federal Way from Southbound I-5 - Option 2Entering Federal Way from Southbound I-5 - Option 1

Entering S 324th Street from Southbound I-5

We are looking at two ways drivers on southbound I-5 might exit at S 324th Street:

  • The first option is for the off ramp to be elevated above traffic heading onto southbound I-5 from S 320th Street.
  • The second option is for drivers on the off ramp to meet and merge with traffic getting onto southbound I-5 from S 320th Street. This would require drivers to weave across an extra lane of traffic to turn right on S 324th Street into the City Center. This would reduce the property needed from Belmor Park Golf and Country Club and conflicts with Sound Transit’s future light rail extension. Weaving across the extra lane of traffic could be difficult for drivers and could also become a safety concern or form a future bottleneck.

We are working with WSDOT and Sound Transit to understand how these options would work with other projects in the same area.

Additional street improvements

We also included some improvements to Federal Way streets to make room for new routes and reduce travel times for cars, trucks and transit.

  • Extend HOV lanes on S 320th Street from Pacific Highway to Military Road S
  • Extend S 324th Street from 23rd Avenue S to Weyerhaeuser Way S
  • Improvements at the intersection of S 324th Street and Pacific Highway

We are still looking at how some other street improvements might fit into the overall solution. These improvements are in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, but we need to study them more to understand how they might improve traffic flow as part of this project.

  • New roadway over I-5 at S 312th Street to Military Road S
  • Complete 32nd Avenue S between S 312th and S 320th streets
  • Intersection improvements at Military Road S and S 320th Street

Continue reading about the solution below.

Intersection options at S 324th Street

We are still in the early stages of designing this solution. Our study found three options to allow cars and trucks to enter and exit the ramps from S 324th Street:

Traffic Signals

The traffic signals at the intersection of S 324th Street and I-5 would be coordinated with signals at other locations.

Most drivers are comfortable using traffic signals, however they are typically more expensive to operate and maintain.

Roundabouts

Roundabouts would allow drivers coming to or from S 324th Street to move in one direction around a central island, exiting in whichever direction they wish to travel. Roundabouts reduce the potential for driving the wrong way on ramps.

Roundabouts are safer than traffic signals and are less expensive to operate and maintain.

Diverging Diamond Interchange

A diverging diamond interchange would direct traffic from S 324th Street to the opposite side of the road to enter an on ramp.

A diverging diamond interchange would allow drivers to enter I-5 with a free left turn. Click here to watch a video of a DDI in Colorado.

Continue reading about the solution below.

Connections for nonmotorized transportation

This solution would help people traveling on foot, by bicycle, or using other modes of nonmotorized transportation get into and out of the City Center. We are still studying how these paths can best support residents accessing transit and local trails.

The map below shows planned nonmotorized transportation paths and future connections with trails and transit services.

We are still studying the options pictured below to determine which would best serve users:

Sidewalks and bike lanes on either side of the street.

Separated shared-use path on one side of the street, shared by all nonmotorized transportation users.