Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Preparatory work is ramping up for construction of the new bridge towers. On Monday, concrete crews will pour the pedestal for the first leg of the Gig Harbor tower. As soon as Friday, Tacoma Narrows Constructors will barge out the first "bird cage," a reusable set of forms that will be ratcheted up the tower legs as they grow.

For the past month, crews at TNC's yard at the Port of Tacoma have been assembling the four bird cages and practicing using them.

The Tacoma caisson is nearly finished. Crews are to pour the first half of the cap Friday and the second half July 26. On Aug. 4, they'll start erecting a crane on the Tacoma caisson so tower construction can begin.

Big changes are coming on roadways, too, in the height of good paving weather.

The new swath of westbound Highway 16 in Gig Harbor between the 24th Street overpass and the weigh station was paved last week, and crews will spend this week installing guardrails, striping and adjusting drainage there.

The schedule calls for westbound traffic to be switched over to the new section July 27 and 28.

Q&A

Q. Are the new towers going to be painted green, to match the existing bridge?

A. Nope. They'll be painted "Washington gray," the color of concrete.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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