Caution: Lane changes ahead on bridge

Drivers approaching the Tacoma Nar-rows Bridge may want to pay particularly close attention to road signs this week as the first of several planned traffic shifts this summer is scheduled to begin Friday, according to the Washigton State Depart-ment of Trans-portation.

At 8 p.m., eastbound SR-16 will be narrowed to one lane as it approaches the 24th Street NW overpass.

According to spokeswoman Claudia Cornish, both lanes will re-open Saturday, morning June 19, but the left-hand lane will be redirected slightly to the north, and the lanes will be divided by a large median.

Although the lanes will be split, Cornish said, both do continue eastbound toward to Tacoma, and roadway signs will direct motorists to stay in their lanes as they approach the work zone.

Then, on Saturday night at 8 p.m., SR-16 will again be reduced to one lane near the overpass and crews will move the right-hand lane alongside the lane moved Friday night.

Both lanes will re-open to traffic Sunday morning by 8 a.m.

There is a possibility crews will be able to redirect both lanes Friday night, Cornish said, and in that case the lanes will not be divided Saturday morning, but both lanes will be in their final configuration by then.

According to Cornish, the traffic shift is needed to allows crews to begin constructing toll facilities, and several more shifts will occur later this summer on both sides of the bridge.

Until further notice, the speed limit is 45 mph throughout the project area.

Also this week, crews will reduce westbound SR-16 to one lane, weather permitting, at 9 p.m. to allow them to pave a transition area inside the median. This work will continue today and tomorrow.

Other project news:

n Crews are expected to be completely finished filling the new bridge caisson on the Gig Harbor side before the end of the month, and crews will begin working on the tower itself, preparing the distribution cap. Dredging is still continuing on the Tacoma-side caisson.

n Narrows Park will open to the public Saturday, June 26, although the official opening ceremony is not scheduled until July 17.

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