Special Reports

Bridge update: April 23

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Big news: The spinning is finished.

Crews finished up the north cable late Tuesday. Now they’ll remove the tramway frames that supported the spinning wheels and start removing and hauling away all the spinning gear – spools, reeling machines, towers – that we’ve grown used to seeing near the Tacoma anchorage over the past year.

Crews spun the first of 19,000 miles of wire Oct. 13 and finished in just slightly more than six months. The job was supposed to take three months, but was delayed because of corroded wire that had to be replaced.

Next, the compacting machines used on the south cable will reappear on the north cable, and crews will compact and band the 19 strands into a single cylinder.

On the south cable, most of the suspender cables are up. That job should be finished this week, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Also this week, crews will start removing the tower tie-back cables, which deflected the towers backward during spinning. Now that spinning has been completed, their job is done.

On Tuesday, the state maintenance crew on the old bridge will close the north sidewalk so they can strip old paint off the suspender cables and repaint them. The job will take about six months, so expect periodic closures until November. The south sidewalk will remain open throughout the project.