Special Reports

Bridge Update: December 11

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

The corroded wire problem continues to occupy center stage.

TNC’s subcontracted chemical labs are testing wire samples, and crews are sorting wire into good and bad piles.

Wire that is relatively unaffected by the outbreak of “white rust” is being pressure-cleaned on site near the Tacoma anchorage.

Meanwhile, spinning crews are building the south cable using undamaged wire. They completed strands 8 and 9 on the south cable Friday and this week will work on strands 10 and 11. The completed cable will contain 19 strands (each composed of 464 wires) compacted to a 20.5-inch diameter.

Work on the north cable has been suspended until more wire can be located.

Elsewhere on the project, crews are continuing with seismic retrofit work on the existing bridge, especially at the east anchorage, where they are strengthening walls and interior supports.

Landscaping work continues on the Gig Harbor side, most of which is the result of a change order demanded by Gig Harbor residents and their legislative representatives.

The most obvious work is along the fence of the Performance Golf driving range, where crews are planting a visual screen of closely spaced juniper trees.

No lane closures or other unusual slowdowns in traffic are expected this week.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune