Hopes Run High for $20M Phenix City Development

New Narrows Bridge Piece to Be Hauled From Spokane

Sun May 06, 2007 - West Edition
CEG



SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) A second giant piece of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge has arrived in Washington state and will be hauled across the state from Spokane, officials said April 19.

The 100-ton (90 t) steel-and-neoprene expansion joint arrived shortly before 1 p.m. April 19 at the Spokane Port of Entry on Interstate 90, where another joint was parked for nearly three weeks recently because its original trailer did not meet permit weight requirements.

The second joint was moved approximately 12 mi. (19 km) to a state Department of Transportation maintenance yard in Spokane Valley after being inspected by the Washington State Patrol, Officer Nicholas Hopper said.

The tractor-trailer rig will remain there until April 23, when another company will bring a longer, wider trailer to take the expansion joint to Tacoma, said Al Gilson, a DOT spokesman. The second joint had been parked in Sioux Falls, S.D., while officials worked to ensure the first joint’s weight didn’t damage freeway bridges and overpasses.

Omega-Morgan Rigging and Industrial Contracting Inc. of Tacoma, which delivered the first expansion joint to Gig Harbor on April 14, will haul the second joint to Tacoma, Gilson said.

The expansion joints consist of rows of steel joined with neoprene strip seals. Each expansion joint weighs 100 tons (90 t), and measures 70 ft. (21 m) long by 15 ft. (4.5 m) wide.

The accordion-like joints are designed to absorb up to 56 in. (142 cm) each of deck expansion and contraction caused by thermal changes, wind forces, traffic movement or seismic motion. Fabricated specifically for the bridge by the D.S. Brown Co., the two massive expansion joints will sandwich the mile-long steel deck.

The joints were brought to Washington state from Minnesota, where they were manufactured, by Big Boat Movers of Texas. The company was unable to reconfigure its 148-ft.-long (45 m) trailer to meet permit weight requirements, so Omega-Morgan was hired to haul the joints to Tacoma on a wider 200-ft.-long (60 m) trailer.

Omega-Morgan’s crew plans to take several days to cross the state, using Interstate 90 to Bellevue, then Interstate 405 and Interstate 5 to Tacoma, Gilson said.

The load — which takes up two lanes — will be accompanied by pilot cars and State Patrol and Transportation Department vehicles, Gilson said.