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New Tacoma Narrows bridge ready for traffic

Contractors from Tacoma Narrows Constructors, a partnership of Bechtel and Kiewit were this week racing to have the new 1.6km long Tacoma Narrows Bridge ready to open to traffic on Monday.

The new $850M (£425M) suspension bridge has been built parallel to the 1950 Narrows Bridge and is intended to alleviate congestion by providing additional capacity and by limiting demand through the use of tolls.

All eastbound traffic will use the new bridge and all westbound traffic the 1950 bridge – segregating traffic for the first time.

Up to 90,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge, and client Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) estimates that this will grow to 120,000 by 2020. With the new bridge and tolling it is expected that traffic volumes will be maintained at 95,000, although it has been designed to accommodate an additional deck if required.

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