Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Caissons: The Tacoma-side caisson is in place next to the existing bridge, and, as of Friday, 10 of 16 anchors had been attached. The final concrete pour on the Gig Harbor caisson, still at the Port of Tacoma, is scheduled for Monday. That caisson is be towed to the Narrows Aug. 18.

Roadways: On Friday, crews poured the concrete deck on the new overpass at 24th Street Northwest in Gig Harbor. The overpass is to open this fall. Look for serious tree-clearing and earth-moving this week in the vicinity of the new off- and on-ramps at 36th Street Northwest.

On the Tacoma side, crews will start clearing the hillside near Jackson Avenue this week, getting ready to flatten the sharp curve on the westbound on-ramp to the bridge.

Q&A

Q. I'm sick of traffic slowing down on the bridge because of people trying to see what's going on with construction. This is just going to get worse. Why not put up some black cloth or something along the rails so people can't see and get distracted?

A. The state Department of Transportation recognizes that sidewalk superintendents on the bridge are slowing traffic. They're trying to figure out what to do about it but have no definite plans so far.

On Friday, the agency put bigger "No Parking" signs near the old toll booth on the Tacoma end of the bridge to keep people from leaving their cars there.

They've also installed the first of three new Web cameras so people can watch the construction from home. Find it at:www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr16narrowsbridge/webcams/.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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