Special Reports

Bridge Update: Nov. 14

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Towers: All four tower legs will rise above the level of the existing bridge’s roadway this week.

On Wednesday, crews will pour the ninth 171/2-foot section of the north leg of the Gig Harbor tower and the south leg of the Tacoma tower. When added to a starter pour base and part of the tower caissons, that will put those legs at 1871/2 feet, about one-third of their eventual height.

Tower crews also will be working on the lowest of three cross struts that will connect the tower legs. The temporary steel supports that will support the struts from beneath during construction have been completed, and crews are beginning to build formwork for the struts.

Roadwork: No night work or traffic lane closures are scheduled this week. Crews working on the toll plaza area will continue grading and will pour another section of concrete roadway.

Work will continue on retaining walls on the Gig Harbor side, including a new rock wall next to the new alignment of Stone Drive.

Anchorages: No concrete pours are scheduled this week on the Gig Harbor anchorage. Crews on that side will spend the week placing forms. On the Tacoma anchorage, crews will pour a concrete slab over the “sandbox,” an earth-filled area that adds ballast at the rear of the anchorage. Question: People slowing down to look at the new bridge towers are jamming up traffic on the old Narrows Bridge. Have there been any accidents yet?

Answer. None so far, according to the Washington State Patrol. The state Department of Transportation advises drivers to resist the temptation to look and maintain a steady speed across the bridge.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune