Special Reports

Bridge update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Caissons: The walls on the Gig Harbor caisson are complete. This week, concrete crews will add a 6-foot cofferdam to the top of the tower foundation. On April 19 dredging will begin again to drop the caisson 30 more feet to its final location.

The first phase of dredging is finished on the Tacoma caisson. This week crews will set up forms to extend the walls higher.

Anchorages: A 1,400-cubic yard concrete pour is scheduled on the Gig Harbor anchorage Thursday. On the Tacoma side, crews will set up forms for the wall on the northern side of the structure.

Roadways: Excavation continues for the new toll plaza, which will be in the eastbound lanes west of Highway 16, just west of the 24th Street overpass.

Final preparations are under way for the opening of the 36th Street ramps, now scheduled for April 24. Crews will move barriers and apply striping late in the week, so watch for lane closures at night on Highway 16 eastbound.

Work continues on the retaining wall separating eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 16 just west of the bridge.

Crews will pour another 48-foot section of the wall on Thursday.

Q&A

Q. Why did they cut those poplar trees north of the old bridge? And why are they digging down there?

A. The state Department of Transportation is putting a new bridge maintenance facility there. The trees needed to go, the department says, because the soil around them is contaminated and must be removed.

The topsoil is being hauled to a disposal site in Eastern Washington.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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