Bridge deck on the way

Last week, the first of three cargo ships began sailing from South Korea to Tacoma to deliver about a dozen large deck sections that will eventually become the roadway of the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The first ship is carrying the 16 sections and is scheduled to arrive in the Tacoma Narrows in early June. A few weeks later, crews will lift the first deck section off the ship.

The next two ships will each be carrying 15 sections.

Once all the sections arrive, lifting them into place will take about four months. They will be added in a precise sequence designed to maintain equal stress on the two suspension cables.

The average length of the deck sections is 120 feet, but the lengths do vary depending on their location on the bridge. All the deck sections were assembled together in South Korea before being shipped to the Narrows to ensure they fit exactly.

During the assembly process, marine restrictions for boaters will be in effect. A no-boating zone will be in place around the cargo ship, which will be moored under the bridge.

A 500-foot, no-boating radius will also be in place around a barge that will move to different locations under the bridge to deliver one deck section at a time to its proper location for lifting.

Mariners will also notice tugs and smaller support boats in the area during the process.

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