Special Reports

BRIDGE UPDATE: November 20

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

And the spinning continues.

Ironworkers looped about 1,000 miles of wire back and forth across the bridge towers last week, assembling strands No. 4 and No. 5 on the north cable. This week they’ll be back on the south catwalk, working on strands No. 6 and No. 7.

By this week’s end, the spinning crews expect to have finished 12 of 38 strands (each of which contains 464 wires) and to have gone through about 6,000 of the 19,000 miles of wire that will be used to make the bridge’s two main suspension cables.

Engineers say the spinning continues to speed up now that workers are familiar with their tasks and bugs have been worked out of the system.

Elsewhere on the project, the new War Memorial Park, which replaces the park formerly located near the Tacoma end of the bridge, is finished. Monuments, shelters and walkways are in place, but the park won’t be open to the public until May, when it is formally dedicated.

Seismic retrofit work continues inside the Tacoma anchorage, where concrete walls are being beefed up and support columns strengthened. Retrofitting crews also are working on the Tacoma tower, strengthening braces in the lower strut connecting the tower legs.

Landscape crews will begin planting around the new stormwater detention pond near the eastbound lanes of Highway 16 on the Gig Harbor side, where the concrete plant was located.

They’ll also begin preparing soil this week for a screen of fast-growing cypress trees between the highway and the golf driving range on the Gig Harbor side.