Special Reports

Bridge update: May 15

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The most obvious work will take place on the existing bridge. Crews have been beefing up the old span to meet earthquake standards, and this week they’ll concentrate on the Gig Harbor tower.

Starting Monday, they’ll build a temporary containment system around the horizontal strut directly above traffic lanes. Then they’ll begin reinforcing the strut with steel beams. The work will entail parking a crane in the middle of the bridge, so traffic lanes will have to be closed.

At 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, crews will close the center eastbound lane of the bridge. At 9 p.m., they will close the center westbound lane. Both will remain closed until 5 a.m. each day.

Meanwhile, on the new bridge, tower crews have nearly reached the top. This week and next they’ll be pouring the last few feet on all four tower legs. The south leg of the Gig Harbor tower will be the first to top out, possibly Friday.

Look for paving work in the torn-up median area on the Tacoma side and some earth moving along the on-ramp to eastbound Highway 16 from Jackson Avenue. That’s the location of the new War Memorial Park.

The saddles were to be lifted onto the west anchorage last week, but that work was delayed. It has been rescheduled for this week. On the east anchorage, crews will continue installing equipment that will be used to spin the main cables.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune