Washington State DOT Unveils Plans for Fixing Bridge Problem

The agency had announced in February that a design error caused cracks in giant concrete pontoons for the new State Route 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has reached agreement with its contractors on the cost and plans for repairing four concrete pontoons and modifying four others that are part of the new State Route 520 floating bridge. It will be a costly fix, in money and time, of a problem WSDOT acknowledged in February 2013, when it disclosed a design error had resulted in cracks in the initial cycle of concrete pontoons. These had to be patched in order to meet the new bridge's 75-year design life.

An engineering firm specializing in the repair of concrete structures devised the plan, which has been endorsed by an expert review panel. "These repairs are important to ensure we are building a safe bridge that meets the needs of the traveling public and supports the regional transportation system for many years," said WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson. "We are committed to following the recommendations of the expert review panel and moving forward."

For the first change order, WSDOT will pay $48.8 million to floating bridge contractor Kiewit/General/Manson, to fix cracks in the first six pontoons that were built. A second change order costs $22.4 million and has been completed. Both of these will be paid from the SR 520 risk reserve as part of the $2.7 billion program budget.

Peterson said the bridge is now estimated to open to traffic in late 2015 or early 2016. The existing bridge will 50 years old this month; it is vulnerable to earthquakes and windstorms and must be replaced, according to the agency.

Product Showcase

  • Safety Shower Test Cart

    The Safety Shower Test Cart speeds up and simplifies emergency shower tests, ensures you stay in compliance with OSHA regulations, and significantly reduces testing costs. With 7 unique features, the cart makes testing easy, effective, and efficient. You can test water clarity, flow, temperature, and spread—all at the same time! Most safety shower testing kits create a mess, take too much time to use, and don't fully help you stay in compliance with OSHA & ANSI standards. Transform the way you test emergency showers with Green Gobbler Safety. Read More

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. Read More

  • Preventative Heat Safety

    Dehydration and heat exposure impair physical and cognitive performance. Proper hydration boosts heat stress resilience, but hydration needs are highly individualized and hard to predict across a workforce. Connected Hydration® empowers industrial athletes to stay safe through behavioral interventions, informed by sports science, and equips safety teams with critical insights to anticipate high-risk situations and adapt to evolving environmental factors. Curious about applying the latest in sports science based hydration strategies for industrial athletes? Stop by booth #1112 at AIHA or schedule a free demo today at https://epcr.cc/demo. Read More

Featured

Artificial Intelligence