WSDOT to fund added SR520 costs with additional revenue

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation announced it has reached agreement with its pontoon contractor for added costs associated with building pontoons for the new State

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Fourth cycle of SR 520 supplemental pontoons nearly complete in Tacoma

OLYMPIA, Wash – Washington State Department of Transportation crews move closer to another project milestone as the finishing touches are made to the fourth cycle of Tacoma-built pontoons

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SR520 Pontoons on the move in October

ABERDEEN – Two new State Route 520 bridge pontoons left Aberdeen for Seattle this weekend, while another two pontoons will follow next week. 

Currently, eight pontoons are located in the Grays Harbor area: two pontoons completed in Cycle 2 – longitudinal pontoons Q and R – and six pontoons completed in Cycle 3 – longitudinal pontoons M, N, O and P and supplemental stability pontoons BSW and BSE. 

The Cycle 2 pontoons are currently at a moorage site in Grays Harbor, while the Cycle 3 pontoons are at the Port of Grays Harbor. Pontoons BSW and BSE were towed last weekend, and pontoons Q and R will leave next week. Pontoons M, N, O and P will move to the Grays Harbor storage site. 

Third cycle of SR 520 pontoons complete in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Another six State Route 520 bridge pontoons floated out of the Aberdeen casting basin today, marking completion of the third of six total pontoon cycles to be built in Grays Harbor. 

“With the third cycle complete, we’re halfway done in Aberdeen,” said Julie Meredith, SR 520 program director for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “We’ve now finished 38 of 77 pontoons needed for a new SR 520 floating bridge that will serve the region for 75 years or more.” 

The third pontoon construction cycle included four longitudinal pontoons and two supplemental stability pontoons. The 360-foot-long longitudinal pontoons will help form the backbone of the new bridge, while the supplemental pontoons provide additional stability and flotation. 

Each longitudinal pontoon in this cycle includes transverse post-tensioning, a concrete strengthening technique endorsed earlier this year by a pontoon expert review panel. WSDOT managers, who conducted preliminary examinations in the casting basin, report the pontoons are performing as expected. The pontoons show no signs of the spalling that occurred in the first pontoons built last year, and end-wall cracking appears limited to predicted and acceptable levels. 

Third batch of State Route 520 Bridge Pontoons to float from Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The third cycle of pontoons headed for the State Route 520 bridge will float out of the Aberdeen casting basin later this week. 

SR520 Pontoon float path

Sara Phelan with the Washington State Department of Transportation tells us the float-out of these next six pontoons marks the halfway point for the Aberdeen site. WSDOT has now completed 38 of 77 pontoons needed for the new SR 520 floating bridge. In all, crews will build 77 pontoons – 33 constructed in Aberdeen and 44 in Tacoma – for the new SR 520 floating bridge. With the third Aberdeen cycle complete, crews have finished 18 pontoons in Aberdeen and 20 in Tacoma.


The first of six pontoons will leave the casting basin around 10 Saturday morning.

Just like the last float-out, the huge concrete structures need to leave the port facility during the highest tides possible. The pontoons will then be towed to a separate moorage facility in Grays Harbor until they are towed 260 nautical miles around the Olympic Peninsula to Lake Washington at a later date.

SR520 Pontoon Construction Site in Aberdeen

Grays Harbor College named one of Washington’s 27 most military friendly

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the heels of its ranking as top community college in Washington state last month, Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen has again made a national list.
Twenty-seven Washington community and technical colleges are among the top military friendly schools in the nation according to Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel that are transitioning to civilian life.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list released this week honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that do the most to ensure the success of military service members, veterans, and spouses. Grays Harbor College offers many programs and support staff to help local military students be successful.

Victory Media compiled the list through research and data-driven analysis of surveys from more than 10,000 federal Department of Veterans Affairs-approved schools nationwide, along with a survey of more than 4,000 student veterans. The results were independently audited by national accounting firm Ernst & Young. Washington’s community and technical colleges were among 1,818 schools nationwide to make the list.

Key cracks repaired in SR 520 Pontoon W

SEATTLE, Wash. - Repairs to Pontoon W have been completed at a drydock location on Harbor Island, ensuring that cracks are sealed, the pontoon is watertight and the new State Route 520 bridge will meet its 75-year design life. This is the second of two pontoons repaired in drydock, while two remaining pontoons from Cycle 1 will be repaired on Lake Washington. The pontoon was floated out of the drydock on Tuesday afternoon Sept. 10.

 

“We’re very pleased with the results of the repairs implemented on pontoons T and W in drydock,” said Dave Becher, Washington State Department of Transportation construction manager for the SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings Project. “We have ensured the watertightness of these pontoons by using epoxy injection, transverse post-tensioning, and applying carbon fiber wrap—all repairs endorsed by our expert review panel.” A video that shows and explains the repairs made to Pontoon W is available on YouTube.

 

Before returning to Lake Washington, however, contractor Kiewit/General/Mason, a Joint Venture (KGM) towed the pontoon to the Manson Construction Company facility on the Duwamish River to remove six round concrete columns built on the pontoon last fall. A total of 10 round columns and two box columns were built atop Pontoon W to support the future highway.

Macklemore praises Lady Washington from Lake Washington

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, one of the hottest pop music acts of 2013, have released a YouTube public service announcement in support of the tall ship Lady Washington, which appeared in their latest music video, “Can’t Hold Us.” The video praises the Aberdeen, Wash.-based vessel for its education programs for young people and features outtakes from “Can’t Hold Us.” In the PSA, the Seattle-based Macklemore asks viewers to support Lady Washington with an online donation.

The PSA is available athttp://www.youtube.com/user/RyanLewisProductions. The Lady Washington donation page is athttps://donate.towercare.com/ghhsa.

Aberdeen-Built Pontoons Head to Hoquiam June 1

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Replacement pontoons for the State Route 520 floating bridge will begin their journey to Lake Washington this summer, but June first, they leave the casting basin in Aberdeen and make a short trip to Hoquiam.
We have the contract to get them to the Port, then there's another contract to take them up the coast. We're thinking WSDOT that we're working with here will buy the pontoons within 24 hours - Project Director Phil Wallace
Wallace, with Kiewit General, told Port Commissioners on Tuesday that the six pontoons will rotate out of Terminal 4 in Hoquiam while the Washington State Department of Transportation works on towing the biggest pontoons every built 260 nautical miles around the Olympic Penninsula to Lake Washington.

Strong Runs Projected at WDFW Meeting

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Fishing prospects look bright this year for chinook in Washington’s ocean waters and the Columbia River, according to preseason salmon forecasts released today at a public meeting in Olympia.

Opportunities for anglers also look good in Puget Sound, where coho and pink salmon runs are expected to be strong this year. 

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon mark the starting point for developing 2011 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. The forecasts were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes.

Fishery managers have scheduled a series of public meetings over the next few weeks to discuss potential fishing opportunities before finalizing seasons in mid-April.

A meeting schedule, salmon forecasts and information about the salmon season-setting process are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/ .