Special Reports

Paint crews will close bridge walk

Beginning next week, the state Department of Transportation will close the north sidewalk of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at times to strip and repaint the bridge’s suspender cables.

The sidewalk will be closed Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., from Monday until Nov. 1, said Claudia Cornish, a department spokeswoman. It occasionally will be closed on Fridays during those hours, she said.

Pedestrians and bicyclists will be directed to the bridge’s south sidewalk via the Jackson Avenue overpass on the Tacoma side of the bridge and the 24th Street overpass on the Gig Harbor side.

The work will mark the second summer of a five-season maintenance project, Cornish said.

For the first time in the bridge’s 57-year history the paint on the bridge’s suspender cables will be stripped bare. The new paint will reduce the potential for corrosion and make the cables last longer, she said.

Workers will focus on cables between land and the Tacoma bridge tower. They will use a piece of equipment that strips off the old oil-based paint and collects the residue, Cornish said. The cables then will be coated with an acrylic paint specifically designed for cable wires, she said.

Paul Sand: 253-597-8772