Special Reports

Bridge update: Feb. 12

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

All four wire-compacting machines are making steady progress on the south cable, heading down from the tower tops.

Compacting crews, working two shifts, five days a week, have been averaging 80 feet of cable per shift. They’ll continue compacting and banding through this week.

The big crane switch is complete on the Tacoma tower. On the Gig Harbor side, crews will jump the tower crane 40 feet this week so they can lift the new crane into position on the top strut.

Next week, they’ll lift the new crane.

Morning backups on the Olympic Drive onramp to eastbound Highway 16 should ease this week when the Department of Transportation opens a second lane on the ramp.

The plan is to open the second lane late in the week and test the ramp meters Thursday.

If all goes well, the meters will operate during Friday’s commute.

The Olympic ramp narrows from two lanes to one before the merge with the highway.

Coming next: The HOV lane at Olympic will open, which will let vehicles with two or more people bypass the meters and cruise straight onto 16.

Elsewhere on the bridge project, look for crews working on rock walls near the 36th Street onramp and landscaping throughout the site.

In Korea, Samsung Heavy Industries reportedly is 90 percent finished with deck fabrication work.