Special Reports

Bridge update: 1/14/2007

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Despite the bad weather, Tacoma Narrows Constructors is nearing the end of its deck-lifting operation, which began Aug. 7. Forty of the 46 deck section are hanging from suspender cables.

This week, crews are to lift two of those that remain: No. 14, which will close the gap in the center span near the Gig Harbor tower, and No. 37, which goes just east of the Tacoma tower.

If all goes well, they’ll also trapeze No. 11 into place just west of the Gig Harbor tower, and ease No. 36 into its final position between the legs of the Tacoma tower.

Meanwhile, the bolting and welding operations necessary to fasten the deck sections together are beginning to pick up steam. Eventually, more than 50 welders and bolters will be on the bridge 20 hours a day, working in two 10-hour shifts.

This week, welders will be working on joint No. 7, and bolters will be on joints Nos. 1,8,17 and 30.

(For reference, TNC designates joints by the number of the western section in the pair. Joint No. 7, for example, is the joint between sections 7 and 8. Deck sections are numbered from 1 to 46 beginning at the Gig Harbor end.)

Rob Carson, The News Tribune