Special Reports

Bridge Update: June 25

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Tacoma Narrows Constructors is preparing for round two of getting the Swan to its anchorage site under the new bridge.

The big oceangoing vessel, loaded with the first 16 deck sections, was too tall to fit under the bridge when TNC tried it Friday, so the bridge builders took it back to Commencement Bay while they make new plans.

No word yet on when the next attempt will be.

The first deck lift is to take place during the first two weeks of July, but no definite date has been decided on.

Crews on the bridge still are assembling and testing the big gantry cranes that will lift the deck sections into place. Eventually there will be one set of gantries on each side span and two in the middle. The lifting will begin before the second set of gantries in the midspan is ready to go.

When the gantries are ready, crews will load test them by lifting 400-ton bags of water. The first tests are likely to happen this week.

If you have emotional attachment to the exit from eastbound Highway 16 to Jackson Avenue, now is the time to say your goodbyes. The off-ramp is disappearing to make room for the approach to the new bridge and a new, realigned off-ramp.

The current off-ramp will be closed for a month beginning July 6 to make room for construction. During that time, traffic will be detoured to the Pearl Street exit.

Work on the new on-ramp to the bridge from Gig Harbor’s 24th Street overpass continues. This week crews will install lighting hardware and equipment for the toll gantry that will span the ramp.