Special Reports


Construction this week on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge:

Cable spinning starts this week, a major milestone in the five-year bridge project. All the catwalks and spinning equipment are in place and, if everything goes according to plan, crews will send the first wire across Monday.

The Tacoma Narrows Constructors’ schedule calls for readying the big haul cables on the tramway above the south catwalk on Monday morning.

They plan to send one loop of pencil-thin wire across the Narrows from the Tacoma anchorage during the first shift and then make the return trip during the second shift.

Spinning will continue on the south cable through the week. Engineers say work is expected to progress slowly at first as details are worked out and the ironworkers become more comfortable with their new jobs.

The spinning operation is expected to take three months. During that time, the bridge builder will use about 19,000 miles of wire.

On land this week, crews will be doing landscaping and drainage work along westbound Highway 16 near the Gig Harbor end of the bridge.

To accommodate that work, the right lane of the Highway 16 mainline and the entire 24th Street off-ramp will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Work on the bridge deck resumed last week in South Korea following an agreement between TNC and its Japanese subcontractor, Nippon Steel-Kawada Bridge. NSKB sued TNC Sept 19, complaining about extra expenses caused by design changes.


I understand the new bridge has been designed to accommodate a second deck if that becomes necessary. Could they put a light-rail commuter train on it, or would it be only for cars?

A second deck could accommodate either traffic or light rail. Modifying the bridge wouldn’t be cheap or easy, however. Either way, it would take another set of main cables and additional anchorages on shore.

Rob Carson, The News Tribune