Special Reports

Bridge ramp changes due today, if it doesn't rain

If it doesn't rain today, crews working on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge will open two new ramps and realign a section of westbound Highway 16 near Gig Harbor.

The ramps were scheduled to open two weeks ago, but stormy weather prevented final paving and striping.

Weather permitting, Tacoma Narrows Constructors crews will permanently close the Highway 16 exit to Stone Drive tonight at 9 p.m.

During the night, drivers who normally would use that exit will be detoured onto the exit at Olympic Drive.

Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., motorists will notice three changes along westbound Highway 16:

•The new westbound exit to 24th Street Northwest will be open.

•The new on-ramp to westbound Highway 16 from 24th Street Northwest will be open.

•Westbound Highway 16 traffic between the two ramps will be realigned slightly to the north.

The westbound realignment will allow TNC crews to create a construction zone in the highway median, where they will build retaining walls, improve drainage, and do other roadway work.

If it rains, crews will postpone today's closure and try again at a later date, said Claudia Cornish, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation.

The roadway changes are part of the $849 million Tacoma Narrows Bridge Project, in which a new mile-long suspension bridge is being built adjacent to the existing bridge.

The project includes changes to 2.5 miles of roads and the construction of a toll plaza and operations center on the Gig Harbor side.

Rob Carson: 253-597-8693