Special Reports

Bridge update: Feb. 26

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Now that the south main cable has been compacted and banded, crews are preparing to put on the permanent cable bands.

The stainless steel bands that are visible every few feet along the cable are for sizing only and eventually will be removed.

The permanent cable bands are two-piece, clamshell-style clamps that surround the cable and are bolted top and bottom. They double as hangers for the suspender ropes, which will drop down from the main cables and attach to the bridge deck and superstructure.

The permanent cable bands need to be installed in precise locations along the cable so the suspenders drop every 40 feet. This week, surveyors will be establishing positions for the permanent bands.

Elsewhere on the project, seismic retrofit crews will be grouting steel casings on the existing bridge columns. Road crews will be doing shoulder grading and cleanup throughout the project but particularly in the area between 36th Street and the toll plaza in Gig Harbor.

The lane closures and traffic slowdowns that the state Department of Transportation has been warning about for the past three weeks have been postponed again.

The closures were to have taken place this week so Tacoma Narrows Constructors crews could remove material from the Tacoma tower on the existing bridge, where they’ve been doing seismic retrofit work.

Now the DOT is saying the slowdowns will probably take place the week of March 5.