Special Reports

Bridge Update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The big project this week is removing air domes from the bottom of the Gig Harbor caisson. Each of the 15 shafts in the caisson has a 20-foot square of half-inch thick steel that needs to come out before crews can begin dredging beneath them. Divers will continue work they started last week, using underwater torches to cut the steel.

Meanwhile, Tacoma Narrows Constructors will continue experimenting with a 17-ton spear it thinks might be able to do the job more quickly. The spear tip is being modified slightly after trials last week.

Roadways: Work on drainage continues near the Highway 16 weigh station on the Gig Harbor side.

Anchorages: There will be two concrete pours this week. One will be on the east anchorage on either Monday or Tuesday, and one will occur Wednesday on the west side.


Q. How do I get information about Galloping Gertie, the old bridge that went down? Go to the library, or what?

A. Hang on two weeks and there should be a good new source. As part of mitigation required for impacts of new construction, the Department of Transportation commissioned a historical project that will soon be up on the Web.

The site, which is intended as an instructional tool, has many interactive features and will be accessible from the bridge projects Web site: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/ sr16narrowsbridge/

Rob Carson, The News Tribune