Special Reports

Bridge update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Now that eastbound bridge traffic in Gig Harbor has been shifted out of the way, Tacoma Narrows Constructors crews are ready to start building the toll plaza and the permanent eastbound approach to the new bridge.

This week, they'll start removing asphalt from the old section of Highway 16 west of the 24th Street Northwest overpass, then begin installing utilities and drainage.

No more nighttime lane closures are planned for three weeks.

A June 25 traffic shift on the Tacoma side of Highway 16, which would move westbound traffic to the eastbound side of the highway, has been postponed until the week of July 5.

Dredge work on the Tacoma caisson is going more slowly than expected. TNC managers thought crews would have the massive tower foundation in its final position, 67 feet below the mud line on the bottom of the Narrows, last week. They were at 62 feet Friday and expect to finish by mid-week.

The Gig Harbor caisson is nearly finished. Most of the concrete cap has been poured but must cure for 14 days before a final pour can be added. Tower crews aren't waiting. On Monday, they'll start preparing the caisson surface for the tower pedestal.

Q&A

Q. Why is Tacoma Narrows Constructors taking out the rock bulkhead at Narrows Park, south of the bridge?

A. That's part of the environmental work TNC was required to do to get state permits to build the bridge. They will replace the rock bulkhead with logs, creating an environment more friendly to fish.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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