Special Reports

Tacoma Narrows bridge construction update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge.

The Jackson Avenue on-ramp to the existing bridge won’t be closed this week after all.

Tacoma Narrows Constructors was all set to spend the week building connections between the new, realigned Jackson on-ramp and westbound Highway 16. Instead, predictions of rainy weather convinced the bridge builder to postpone the work.

The new tentative start date for the weeklong paving project is April 11. During construction, traffic will be detoured to the Pearl Street on-ramp.

The rain won’t stop work on the towers. Crews are planning to finish the 23rd and 24th lifts on all tower legs this week. That will put the towers at 424.5 feet, just 85.5 feet short of the top. They’ll finish next month.

The strut crews are working double-time, making rapid progress on the middle struts, or cross braces, connecting the tower legs.

On the Gig Harbor tower, the side forms for the strut are in place and crews plan to pour the floor on Friday.

On the Tacoma tower, crews will spend the week building the massive floor that will span the tower legs and form the temporary base for the strut.

Crews renovating the existing bridge for earthquakes will remove the concrete floor inside the east anchorage this week and dig out enough dirt to expose the footings. The top foot of soil is contaminated with lead from the paint used on the bridge over the years. It will be hauled to a contaminated waste site in Eastern Washington.