Special Reports

Bridge update: Dec. 10, 2006

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The transport vessel the Swan moved under the west span of the bridge Wednesday, carrying the final 15 of 46 deck sections.

Since then, lifting crews have embarked on an aggressive schedule, hoping to have the entire deck in place on the cables by the first week in January.

This week they’ll reposition deck No. 41, which had been hung slightly out of position as a counterweight, and they’ll lift No. 33 onto the Tacoma end of the center span.

Meanwhile, welding and bolting crews will permanently fasten together the deck sections already suspended. This process will continue for at least three months.

Elsewhere on the project, crews will excavate and remove the old bike path on the Gig Harbor side. Bicyclists used to make their way through the construction area. Now they’ll use the new 24th Street on-ramp instead.

If the weather remains dry, crews will continue backfilling behind the new east anchorage, and they’ll build foundations for the electronic toll gantries on the 24th Street ramp.

Access to the new bridge on that ramp will be limited to those who pay tolls automatically with radio frequency identification tags, or transponders.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune