Special Reports

Bridge plan adds 24th street ramp

The 24th Street on-ramp to the new Tacoma Narrows bridge will be built, state Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday.

In deciding to build the Gig Harbor on-ramp to the eastbound lanes of Highway 16, officers analyzed the ramp’s potential effects on eastbound traffic, gauged the environmental impact and sought public opinion.

Crews will begin working on the ramp this summer and expect to have it open along with the new bridge in April 2007. Only drivers paying tolls electronically will be able to use the ramp, because it will enter the toll plaza just east of the toll booths. Drivers can expect the ramp to be metered during morning commute hours, the transportation department said.

The ramp is expected to cost about $7.5 million and will be paid for with contingency funds covered under the bridge project’s original $849 million cost.