Special Reports


Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Two massive pieces of the Tacoma anchorage are being delivered to the construction site this week. Each is so big it will need police escorts and take up both westbound lanes of Highway 16.

The pieces are parts of the steel anchorage frame that will be embedded in concrete and support the bridge suspension cables. They'll be delivered from the Tideflats between 10 p.m. Thursday and 4:30 a.m. Friday.

Two more of the giant frames will be delivered to the Gig Harbor anchorage later this year.

Caissons: All the airdromes have been removed from the Gig Harbor caisson, and dredging began Tuesday.

As of Friday crews had excavated 850 yards of material from beneath the caisson, which had sunk about 5 inches into the bottom. Dredging will continue all week.

Crews will begin removing the airdromes from the Tacoma caisson Monday.

Roadways: The heavy equipment working in the median just west of the bridge will be there all week. Road crews are excavating for the footing of a new retaining wall that will separate eastbound from westbound lanes. Traffic will move through that area at slightly different elevations.

Another distraction for drivers: On Thursday and Friday, crews will build a temporary stairway from the 24th Street Northwest overpass down to the median strip so workers can get to their job site more easily.

Q. There's a new construction trailer and fencing going up at Pearl Street where you get onto Highway 16 heading west. Is this part of the bridge project?

A. No. It's phase one of the Department of Transportation's Highway 16 widening project, which eventually will put carpool lanes from Olympic Drive in Gig Harbor to Union Avenue in Tacoma.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune