Special Reports

Bridge update: March 19, 2006

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Spinning crews are making good time on the north cable. They finished strands No. 6 and No. 7 (of 19) last week, and this week they’ll do No. 8 and No. 9. Next door, on the south cable, ironworkers are continuing to install permanent cable bands.

At the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard on Koje Island, South Korea, fabrication crews are now 95 percent finished with the new bridge’s deck.

Samsung crews have been working on the 46 steel deck sections for nearly two years. The first shipment of deck sections will be loaded at the end of April and is to arrive in Tacoma in June.

Now that the new 24th Street ramp to eastbound Highway 16 in Gig Harbor has been approved, Tacoma Narrows Constructors is clearing the way to build it. Crews are moving buildings that are in the way and moving equipment that has been stored on the site. Because the ramp will bypass the toll plaza it will be for use only by vehicles with transponders that pay tolls automatically.

Equipment testing will continue this week on the toll plaza. Look for flashing lights and test vehicles being driven at various speeds through the gates. Testing will continue for about seven weeks.

Elsewhere on the project, road crews are doing prep work to the pavement behind the barrier on the 36th Street on-ramp to eastbound Highway 16.