Special Reports

Bridge Update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The Gig Harbor caisson has temporarily topped out, and crews will spend the week opening the steel air chambers at its bottom so dredging can begin.

Tacoma Narrows Constructors will use two methods to remove domes: divers, who will descend into the hollow shafts armed with cutting torches; and an experimental, 17-ton spear intended to slice the chambers open like a giant can opener.

Removing the domes is expected to take at least one week and probably two.

Meanwhile, the Tacoma-side caisson, which is in water 20 feet deeper, is still under construction. A concrete pour is scheduled for Wednesday on that side.

Anchorages: two concrete pours this week: Thursday on the Gig Harbor side and Friday on the Tacoma side.

Roadwork: Drainage work and landscaping will continue along Highway 16 west of the bridge during daylight hours through the week. The work should not affect traffic, but drivers should remain alert for visual distractions.


Q. Are bicycles still going to be able to get across the bridge from Tacoma to Gig Harbor after they start working on the shoulder of Highway 16 at Jackson Avenue?

A. Yes. But starting this week, bicyclists will have to get off Highway 16 at Jackson, detour down North 10th Street, then get on the bridge through a small chain-link gate. That detour will be in effect for most of the rest of the project, according to the DOT.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune