Special Reports

Bridge update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Most bridge workers are taking Monday off. For many, it will be the first three-day weekend in a year.

There will be lots of lane closures during the short week, as road crews get ready for lateral shifts of traffic lanes.

Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Highway 16 will be down to one lane in each direction from 24th Street Northwest to the bridge in Gig Harbor. Times: 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. eastbound and 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. westbound.

On the Tacoma side, the left lane of westbound Highway 16 will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday through Friday.

On both sides, crews will be restriping sections of roadway, moving barriers and paving tie-ins, all in preparation for several traffic shifts coming up.

The first of the shifts will take place in mid-June, when all eastbound traffic in the vicinity of 24th Street in Gig Harbor will be moved north of the new traffic barrier installed in what is now the median.

That will free up the existing eastbound lanes for road-widening and toll-plaza construction.

Caissons: On Thursday, concrete crews will make the first of three pours on the 15-foot "distribution cap" on the Gig Harbor caisson. The cap is to be finished June 16, marking completion of the caisson.

Dredging continues on the Tacoma caisson. As of Friday the caisson was 32 feet below the mudline at the bottom of the Narrows, about halfway to its final position.

Q&A

Q. How much dirt are they taking out from under the Tacoma caisson and where are they putting it?

A. About 25,037 cubic yards of fine gravel. They're hauling it to a deep-water dump site in Commencement Bay.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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