Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The Tacoma anchorage will take a major step forward as crews install massive steel frames that will hold down the bridge's suspension cables.

Two of the largest pieces of the frames were delivered last week. Meanwhile, the Gig Harbor anchorage has yet to rise above ground level. A concrete pour is set for Wednesday.

Caissons: As of noon Friday, divers had cut out four of 15 steel air domes at the bottom of the Tacoma caisson.

The first round of dredging on the Gig Harbor caisson is expected to be finished by Saturday. At that point Tacoma Narrows Constructors will begin dredging the Tacoma side and begin extending the Gig Harbor caisson's walls. Dredging on the Tacoma caisson should start March 25.

Roadways: Road crews working on the Highway 16 median strip on the Gig Harbor side will start building forms and placing rebar this week for the footing of the retaining wall that will separate opposite flows of traffic.

Also, crews will work on a temporary stair tower dropping from the new 24th Street Northwest overpass down to the median strip.

Q&A

Q. Where is all the dredged stuff from under the caissons going? I hope the largest octopuses in Puget Sound are holding up OK to all this hubbub.

STEVE HALE, TACOMA

A. The material being dredged from under the caissons is a clean mix of sand and gravel. It's being barged to a state Department of Natural Resources deep-water dump site in Commencement Bay.

Because the material is being lifted out of enclosed dredge wells, there is minimal impact on the environment, according to Dennis Engel, the state Department of Transportation's project engineer. "The octopuses are fine," he said.

Rob Carson,

The News Tribune

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