Murray Morgan Bridge community meeting Nov. 2

City of Tacoma officials have announced that On Monday, Oct. 31, the contractor working on the Murray Morgan Bridge will be raising and lowering the lift span to lubricate the counterweight cables. Upon completion of this maintenance, the lift span will be left in the closed position with clearance of 57 feet at mean high tide due to the work platform under the lift span. The contractor — PCL Construction Services, Inc. — will be using a barge crane to remove the temporary columns supporting the lift span in preparation for lowering the lift span for deck removal. The waterway will remain open but the width will be reduced to approximately 90 feet while the crane is removing the temporary columns. Also starting Monday, the bridge will be opened by PCL Construction Services under current regulatory operating procedures requiring two hours advance notice for openings. The phone numbers to call to request openings are (954) 444-1120 (primary) or (425) 577-2568 (secondary). Signs containing these contact numbers and the two hour advance notification requirement for bridge opening will be posted on the bridge. These operating procedures will be in place until the date approved by the US Coast Guard for closure for deck replacement (currently projected for Nov. 14, 2011).

In related news, officials also announced a fiber optic line was damaged on Mon., Oct. 24 during paint removal on the west truss. Paint removal was suspended for two days to repair the fiber optic line. Paint removal on the west truss was expected to be completed over the weekend as a result of this delay.

The next community meeting will be held on Weds., Nov. 2 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Foss Harbor Marina offices located at 821 Dock Street. Topics for discussion will be upcoming bridge closures, the next phase of rehabilitation, and any community concerns and questions.

The City of Tacoma has been working with the Coast Guard and marine users south of the bridge to develop a closure schedule for the removal of the concrete deck and underlying steel stringers, and the construction of the new deck. Based on comments from marine users, the closure request to the Coast Guard was revised to Nov. 12, 2011 through April 30, 2012 for deck removal and replacement. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies subject to a twelve hour advance notice, except during two 7-day periods after concrete placement, currently planned for the last week in January and the first week in April. The bridge will be open for the following dates and one weekend per month in January, February, and March: November 24-27, 2011; December 24, 2011 through January 1, 2012; and either April 14-15, 2012 or April 21-22, 2012.

The April opening and the weekend openings in January, February, and March will be determined in coordination with marine users south of the Bridge at least two weeks before the respective closures. Inclement weather, particularly high winds, may result in the bridge being closed early during an open period or may result in postponing an opening. During this closure, the City will deliver fuel to boats located south of the Bridge upon request at or below local marina prices. The City planned the closure for months that historically have had a lower number of bridge openings.

The bridge may also need to be closed Monday through Friday for two weeks for operating machinery installation. These dates will be finalized next spring. Comments on the proposed closures can be sent to Randall Overton, Bridge Administrator, 13th Coast Guard District, at and to Tom Rutherford, Bridge Rehabilitation Project Manager, at .

For more information about the Murray Morgan Bridge rehabilitation project, visit

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For earlier Tacoma Daily Index coverage of the Murray Morgan Bridge, visit the Index’s archives online for the following articles:

Murray Morgan Bridge rehabilitation could include new elevator (10/14/11) —

Winds batter Murray Morgan Bridge cover (09/26/11) —

Murray Morgan Bridge work will cause East ‘D’ Street closure (09/19/11) —

Traffic flaggers on Dock Street this week (09/13/11) —

Murray Morgan Bridge project means temporary I-705 nighttime closures (07/20/11) —

Murray Morgan Bridge Dock Street stairs to close July 5 (06/28/11) —

Falcons call Murray Morgan Bridge home (again) (06/09/11) —

Murray Morgan Bridge groundbreaking ceremony April 19 (04/04/11) —

Murray Morgan Bridge to be painted black (03/24/11) —

Back In Black? City proposal would paint Murray Morgan Bridge (03/21/11) —

$49M contract approved for Murray Morgan Bridge rehab (01/05/11) —

Tacoma City Council votes Tuesday on $49M Murray Morgan Bridge rehab contract (01/03/11) —

$20M WSDOT loan would complete Murray Morgan Bridge rehab (09/01/10) —

Bicyclists, pedestrians return to Murray Morgan Bridge (03/31/10) —

Murray Morgan Bridge ribbon-cutting March 31 (03/18/10) —

Murray Morgan Makeover (02/09/10)

Steel cables, heavy equipment signal beginning of Murray Morgan Bridge rehab (01/25/10)

Bridge Support: A chorus of praise for saving Murray Morgan Bridge (12/04/09)

Tacoma City Council approves Murray Morgan Bridge agreement (12/02/09)

City Council to vote Dec. 1 on Murray Morgan Bridge agreement (11/25/09)

Tacoma closer to owning Murray Morgan Bridge (11/19/09)

Murray Morgan Bridge rehab delayed (10/08/09)

Contract awarded for Murray Morgan Bridge cable project (06/17/09)

City, State Murray Morgan Bridge funding negotiations will continue (05/06/09)

Murray Morgan Mojo: $3 million project to replace bridge cables ready to begin (12/16/08)

City, State consider innovative financing plan for Murray Morgan Bridge rehab (12/11/08)

2008 Washington State Endangered Historic Properties — Murray Morgan Bridge (06/11/08)

Murray Morgan Bridge’s Endangered Legacy (05/30/08)

Murray Morgan Bridge tops list of Washington Trust’s annual Most Endangered Historic Properties (05/27/08)

Murray Morgan Bridge closure expensive decision (10/31/07)