Tacoma Narrows Bridge decks arrive tonight

The semi-submersible ship SWAN, one of the largest ships of its kind in the world, will deliver the first 16 of 46 bridge deck sections for the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge tonight, according to a statement released by the Department of Transportation.

Having traveled 6,000 miles from South Korea, the ship and its cargo will moor near Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway for up to two weeks while crews prepare the deck sections for the deck-lifting process. Since the ship’s cargo rises 125 feet above water, the public will get an easy view of the spectacle from Tacoma’s Marine View Drive.

The ship is scheduled to arrive in Commencement Bay sometime after 6 p.m. this evening, depending on the length of time needed to clear the customs process in Port Angeles.

Once deck preparations are complete, the SWAN will be relocated and moored under the new bridge’s west side span. The ship will remain in place around the clock for up to seven weeks while the 16 bridge deck sections are unloaded and lifted into place. Navigational restrictions will be in place around the SWAN, Foss’s construction barge MARMACK, and the area underneath the bridge cranes that will be used in the deck-lifting operations.

Mariners will need to pay particular attention to bridge construction activities during this time. The United States Coast Guard will be enforcing safety zones around both vessels and the area directly under the bridge cranes. All mariners transiting through the Tacoma Narrows are urged to proceed with extreme caution and follow all U. S. Coast Guard navigational restrictions.