Special Reports

Bridge update: March 18, 2007

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The big excitement this week is the expected arrival of the first of two 100-ton expansion joints, coming Monday evening on a truck so long it will look more like a train.

The joints, manufactured by the D.S. Brown Company in Minnesota, will span the width of the bridge and fill the changeable gaps between the ends of the bridge deck and the anchorages.

When the first joint arrives Monday night – probably sometime between 8 and 10 p.m. – the 165-foot-long truck carrying it will take up both westbound lanes of the existing bridge.

Cable-pasting and wrapping on the main cables will continue this week. As of Friday, wrapping crews had finished 85 of 270 bays.

Welders are one-third finished with their work: So far they’ve fused 15 of 45 joints between deck sections.

Other bridge work will require lane closures on Thursday and Friday nights.

Crews are planning to close the right lane of westbound Highway 16 on the east side of the bridge while they do seismic retrofit work on the old bridge’s Tacoma anchorage.