Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Roadways: Crews will continue digging and installing infiltration ditches to handle stormwater on the northern side of 36th Street Northwest on the Gig Harbor side of the bridge. And, weather permitting, they'll do more paving on the new mainline of Highway 16, currently behind barriers near 24th Street Northwest. Neither operation is expected to affect traffic.

Landscape work will continue along Highway 16 near 36th Street, and traffic crews will continue to work on the traffic signal at 36th Street and 22nd Avenue Northwest.

Caissons: A concrete pour is scheduled Wednesday on the Gig Harbor caisson. Engineers are planning logistics for the touchdown of that caisson on the Narrows floor Dec. 15.

Q&A

Q. When the new bridge is finished, how are people trying to get to it from the new on-ramp at 36th Street supposed to get past all the people lining up to pay tolls? We're going to have to go across all those lanes to get into the lanes for cars with transponders. Is it supposed to be like a demolition derby? It's amazing they would plan it this way.

A GIG HARBOR READER

A. It's true that if traffic gets badly jammed up at the tollbooths, vehicles could back up into the mainline of Highway 16 and block access from 36th Street, the state Department of Transportation says. But planners don't think that's the way it will work.

"We're hoping so many people have transponders that won't happen," spokeswoman Claudia Cornish said. "But there could be a learning curve."

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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