Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge:

Walkways: Carpenters have finished a walkway that runs from the Tacoma shore, under the existing bridge and down 150 feet to the top of the east caisson. The walkway will be used for worker access and as a support to pump concrete to the new caisson. A walkway on the west end of the bridge is still under construction.

Caissons: The caisson that will support the tower on the Tacoma side of the bridge is now nearly 80 feet high and is on schedule to be towed from the Port of Tacoma to the Narrows on July 21. According to DOT project manager Linea Laird, enough concrete has been used on the two caissons so far to cover a football field 3 feet deep.

Roadwork: All girders are now in place on the new overpass at 24th Street Northwest in Gig Harbor. Crews are starting work on a new westbound onramp to Highway 16 from 24th. Look for tree-clearing there this week and also across the highway at 36th Street in preparation for new ramps there.

Q&A

Q. I keep seeing them dumping rock into the water on the Tacoma end of the bridge. What's going on?

A. Tacoma Narrows Constructors is placing rock at both ends ends of the bridge for two reasons: to make solid, level landing pads for the new caissons, and to gird the existing caissons with rock to prevent erosion.

Q. What's happening with the plan for the DOT and TNC to set up offices next to each other?

A. Still on track. The DOT has given up its plan to construct a new facility and is eyeing property in the office park where TNC is located, behind the QFC in Gig Harbor.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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