Tacoma Narrows Bridge bike, pedestrian path narrowed next week

Next week, Washington State Department of Transportation bridge inspectors will perform a baseline inspection on the new (eastbound) Tacoma Narrows Bridge. To complete the baseline inspection, bridge crews will take a close look at all areas of the bridge, including the bridge truss under the bridge deck. The truck used for the inspection will take up eight feet of the 10-foot-wide bike path, narrowing the path at the truck location between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, May 5-8.
Most of the under-deck inspection work will not require the use of the bicycle/pedestrian path, and will be done using the bridge’s “traveler.” The traveler is a motorized carriage that travels the length of the truss under the deck, and is specifically designed to provide maintenance and inspection access. However, the outside steel of the south truss is not visible from the traveler. To inspect that area, bridge crews will use an “under bridge inspection truck” that will sit on the bridge’s walkway and provide crews access over the pedestrian railing.
Flaggers will help bicyclists and pedestrians navigate around the under bridge inspection truck. If a person in a wheelchair or other such device wants to cross the bridge on the bicycle/pedestrian path, bridge crews will accommodate.
This inspection work will create a comprehensive baseline for comparative purposes over the life of the bridge. As with all major bridge structures on Washington state’s highways, bridge crews will repeat the inspection every two years.