Special Reports

Bridge update: Oct. 22, 2006

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Lifting crews continue their rapid progress on the bridge deck sections.

By the end of last week, they had removed all but four of the 15 sections that arrived on the transport vessel Teal, now moored under the Gig Harbor end of the bridge.

Twenty-six of the sections were hanging from the main cables; one was waiting its turn on the barge Marmac.

It’s possible the crews could empty the Teal this week, more likely the first part of next week. As soon as it’s unloaded, the Teal will leave the Narrows and head off for its next assignment.

The Teal’s sister ship, the Swan, is back in South Korea and being loaded with the final 15 deck sections. The Swan is expected return to Tacoma in late November.

While waiting for the Swan, crews will “trapeze,” or swing sideways, the sections that are on the cables but not in their final position. They’ll also begin the process of permanently fastening the sections together.

Tacoma Narrows Constructors is shooting for the end of December to have all 46 sections in place on the cables.

Roadway crews will take down a sign bridge across Highway 16 near Tacoma’s Jackson Avenue this week if the weather cooperates. The plan is to close one westbound lane of the highway at 9 p.m. Thursday. Sometime between midnight and 4 a.m. Friday, they’ll enforce a rolling slowdown while they swing the sign bridge over lanes and set it down in the median. Expect up to a half-hour delay if you get caught in the rolling slowdown.

The westbound lane is scheduled to reopen by 7 a.m. Friday.