Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The tower on the Gig Harbor side will continue to grow. The construction forms called "bird cages" have been installed on both tower legs, and the first one will be put to the test Friday. If all goes as planned, concrete crews will pour the first of 56 lifts, each 17 1/2 feet high.

The Tacoma tower is lagging slightly behind. Crews will pour the first pedestal on that side Saturday.

Meanwhile, road crews will begin putting in conduits for lights on the huge retaining wall holding eastbound lanes on the Tacoma side. On the Gig Harbor side, they'll continue working in the newly created median, putting in drainage and preparing the roadbed.

Crews also will begin installing plumbing and electrical conduits to the site of the new toll booths. Work on the toll plaza area will kick into high gear in the next few weeks.

The foundation for the toll-operations building will be poured Friday.

On the anchorages, one pour is scheduled for Friday on the Tacoma side. On the Gig Harbor anchorage, crews are aligning the anchorage tubes, making sure they are in the right position to accept the strands of the main suspension cable.

Another traffic shift is coming. The date hasn't been set yet, but late in the week, westbound traffic heading for the bridge on the Tacoma side will be shifted to the left, away from the Jackson Avenue on-ramp and onto recently installed asphalt.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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