It’s show time. After nearly five years, $700 million and more than 3 million hours of labor, the new Tacoma Narrows bridge is finished.
Early Sunday, thousands of runners will stampede onto the bridge deck, making an inaugural dash into territory previously restricted to those in hard hats and work boots.
Pedestrians will follow, free to spend the day strolling on the bridge and admiring the finished product before vehicle traffic is turned loose Monday morning.
There’s plenty to admire.
At 5,400 feet from end to end, the new bridge is the longest suspension bridge built in the United States since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened in New York in 1964.
Designing and building the new Tacoma Narrows bridge demanded the best talent in the construction industry.
The international team of engineers and craftsmen assembled for the job combined local talent with specialists from around the world. They labored long hours, doing difficult work, often under miserable conditions.
It took ingenuity, stamina and international diplomacy to bring the project to successful completion.
Unlike many big public works projects, this one turned out to be a model of safety and quality. Throughout the job, only three workers were injured badly enough to miss work the next day.
With its 510-foot-tall towers and mile-long deck, the new bridge is massive. Yet it is also delicate and precise – a finely tuned machine.
For five years, we’ve had the privilege of watching one of the most fascinating construction projects in history proceed step by step. Now it’s time to celebrate a job well done.
We hope the information in these pages helps you enjoy the show.