Special Reports

Bridge Update

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge:

Bad bearings in the tower crane motor stalled work on the Tacoma tower last week. Instead of pouring lifts 16 and 17 as planned, repair crews spent the week getting the 3,000-pound electric motor out of the crane, lowering it 380 feet and winching up a new one.

If the repairs go as hoped, the crane will be running again this week, but the Tacoma tower is now more than a week behind schedule. Tacoma Narrows Constructors hopes to finish lift 17 on both legs of that tower this week.

The Gig Harbor tower, now noticeably taller than the Tacoma tower, is growing rapidly. A specially trained crew will begin post-tensioning the first cross strut this week, compressing the strut with 50 million pounds of pressure to increase its strength.

During the post-tensioning, concrete crews will pour the first half of lift 18 on the south leg of the Gig Harbor tower, the elevation at which the second strut will be constructed.

Also on the Gig Harbor tower, crews will install a wind strut this week. The temporary strut will provide bracing to help support the tower legs until the second permanent strut is in place.

More grading in the toll plaza this week, as crews prepare for more asphalt paving there. Work continues on installing the roof of the covered walkway that runs from the plaza to the toll operations building, on 24th Street Northwest. Inside the toll operations building, workers will install insulation and wallboard.

On the Tacoma anchorage, crews will pour a concrete wing wall on Tuesday. On the Gig Harbor anchorage, they’ll install interior diaphragms and girder stops for the concrete platform that will form the base of the roadway as it crosses the top of the anchorage.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune

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