DuPONT, WA – Interstate 5 southbound will remain closed at least through the morning commute on Wednesday, 48 hours after Amtrak Train 501 derailed on the I-5 overpass near Mounts Road in DuPont, sending train cars down onto the freeway, according to WSDOT spokesman Travis Phelps.
Washington State Department of Transportation reported heavy traffic on Route 507 as drivers tried to make their way around the scene. By 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, there was a 14-mile backup on southbound Route 507 into Yelm, and the Route 16 detour was considered the faster route.
- Through JBLM – the base has opened up Perimeter Road to civilian traffic to allow for a detour around the closed freeway. Enter JBLM at Exit 118 Center Drive, follow Perimeter Road to the Nisqually Cutoff Road and back to I-5.
- SR 7 & SR 507 (Yelm) From Lakewood, use SR 512 to navigate to Parkland, then use SR 507 through Spanaway, Roy, McKenna, and Yelm. From Yelm, either follow SR 510 back to Marvin Road and the Lacey area, or follow SR 507 through Rainier, Tenino, and Grand Mound back to I-5 to continue south towards Chehalis.
- SR 16/ SR 3/ US 101 (Shelton) Follow the Tacoma Narrows Bridge over Hwy 16 through Gig Harbor and up to Port Orchard. From there, follow Hwy 3 through Allyn and into Shelton, where you can take US 101 back to Olympia to continue onto I-5 or head out SR 8 towards the ocean.
WSDOT was recommending the always-picturesque alternate route of state Route 16 to state Route 3 and 101. It’s a 65 mile detour.
Zack Willhoite, a customer support specialist at Pierce Transit, was one of at least people killed when Train 501 hurtled off the tracks above Interstate 5 on Monday morning, sending 13 or 14 cars tumbling on top of each other onto the freeway below. Some of the cars also flew into a nearby wooded area. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the names of the other passengers killed.