Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge:
Caissons: The Tacoma-side caisson will leave the Port of Tacoma today for the Tacoma Narrows. The Gig Harbor caisson, still under construction at the port, is now 50 feet tall and will be hauled to the Narrows next month when it reaches 80 feet.
Road work: This week, crews will begin excavating material on the Tacoma side of the bridge near the Jackson Avenue ramp to westbound Highway 16. The curving ramp will be given a wider radius to make it easier to merge into bridge traffic. No significant traffic slowdowns are expected.
Anchorages: Engineers are testing soil conditions at both ends of the bridge in preparation for the installation of shoring walls to be used during excavation.
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Q: Two bright blue crane things suddenly appeared next to the tower on the Tacoma side of the bridge. What are they for?
A: They are concrete pumping derricks that will be used to place concrete on the growing caisson. The two derricks will travel back and forth across the Narrows over the next five months so they can service both caissons.