Special Reports

Bridge update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Now that Tacoma-bound traffic has been shifted out of the way, crews on the Gig Harbor side are moving full speed ahead on the new toll plaza and approach lanes.

This week they'll be tearing up the old Highway 16 alignment west of 24th Street Northwest, grinding asphalt, installing drainage systems and working on retaining walls.

They'll also start site prep work for the new toll operations building, which will be built next to the 24th Street overpass.

Two new cranes showed up on the job site last week. The large yellow tower crane on the Gig Harbor caisson will be used for construction of the west tower. The big red crane on tank treads will be moved to the west caisson to replace the yellow tower crane there.

Caissons: Crews finished dredging under the Tacoma caisson on Tuesday, with the bottom of the big foundation in its final position, 67 feet below the floor of the Narrows. Late this week they'll begin pouring a heavy layer of concrete into the bottom of the caisson to keep it from sinking farther. The plan is to pour the first section on Saturday and continue for five consecutive days.

On the Gig Harbor caisson, tower crews are setting rebar and forms for the north pedestal, which will support one leg of the tower.

Q&A

Q: I looked at your map of Narrows Park and still couldn't tell how to get there. Can you give me directions?

A: From Tacoma, cross the bridge and take the first exit (24th Street). Cross over Highway 16 and make a left on Jahn Avenue, then another left on Stone Drive. Veer right and uphill onto Lucille Parkway. Stay on Lucille for about a quarter-mile until you see a new sign on the right that says "Narrows Park." Follow that road a half- mile downhill to the park.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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