Special Reports

BRIDGE Update: March 13

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Road crews will be installing hardware for the new ramp-metering system in the Gig Harbor area this week, and they’ll have to shut down some traffic lanes to do it.

Watch for nighttime closures and diversions from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday in the vicinity of all five onramps to Highway 16. While traffic is off the lanes, crews will cut into the pavement and install magnetic loops.

When the metering system gets going, the loops will sense the volume and speed of traffic and trigger the traffic lights on the onramps.

The Wollochet Drive exit from Highway 16 will be closed from 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

Ramp meters at all five Gig Harbor-area entrances to eastbound Highway 16 will be activated late next month.

Tower crews working in the bird cages plan to add the 20th section to all four tower legs this week. That will put them about 360 feet from the tops of the caissons.

Crews working on the struts, or cross-braces between tower legs, will spend the week stripping concrete forms off the lower strut on the Tacoma tower and bolting temporary work platforms onto the Gig Harbor tower in preparation for the middle strut.

After several weeks of preparation, concrete crews will pour the top deck on the Tacoma anchorage this week, most likely Friday.

What are those things that look like enormous rolls of fencing in the toll plaza area?

That’s the material for the construction walkway, or “catwalk,” that will be draped from tower to tower during spinning of the main cable.