Special Reports

Bridge update: October 16

Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

After several weeks of preparation, workers ran the first strands of the main cable across the Narrows on Thursday. They’ll continue the spinning operation all this week, working in two shifts.

The main cables are being constructed in place, using more than 19,000 miles of high-strength steel wire about the diameter of a pencil. Spinning wheels attached to an electric tramway draw the wire from supply drums on the Tacoma side and carry it back and forth across the bridge.

The process went slowly at first, as engineers worked bugs out of the system. This week, crews hope to pick up speed. Both cables are being constructed simultaneously.

The entire spinning process is expected to take three months.

Tacoma Narrows Constructors’ attention is focused on the spinning operation, and not much else will be happening this week.

Landscaping crews are taking advantage of the fall season for planting throughout the project. Construction of the stormwater detention pond at the site of the old batch plant is ongoing, as is construction and landscaping at the new War Memorial Park.

No traffic interruptions this week, though local fire officials will be conducting drills in the construction area.