Special Reports

Bridge update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Look for significant movement this week. Crews tried out the movable "bird cage" forms for the first time Saturday, pouring the first 17.5-foot lift on the north leg of the Gig Harbor tower. Monday, they'll pour the first lift on the south leg of the tower.

Thursday, they'll pour a second lift on the north leg of the Gig Harbor tower and on Saturday, they'll pour the second lift on the south leg, raising the legs to about 45 feet.

On the Tacoma side, work on the towers will start moving quickly, too. Tuesday, crews will pour starter lifts on both tower legs, and Thursday, they'll set the bird cages on the starter sections.

Meanwhile, road crews are hustling to get as much paving done as they can before the winter rains start. They'll pave a large section of the eventual eastbound roadway near the 24th Street overpass on the Gig Harbor side this week, and they'll continue working in the median, finishing drainage and raising the subgrade to the correct level.

Foundation work on the new toll-operations building will continue this week, in preparation for raising walls, which should take place in about two weeks.

Two pours on the anchorages this week: Tuesday on the Gig Harbor side and Thursday on the Tacoma side.

Watch for nightly single right-lane closures on westbound Highway 16 between the 24th Street overpass and the weigh station for landscaping. Work hours are 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Q&A

Q. I've seen two different figures on the height of the towers. Will they be 510 feet tall? Or 493 feet tall?

A. Depends on where you start measuring. They'll be 510 feet above sea level, but 493 feet from the top of the caisson.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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