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Signal replacement project at SR 507 and Reynolds Ave. resumes March 3

CENTRALIA – After a three-month shutdown to fabricate materials, work to replace the traffic signal at State Route 507 and Reynolds Avenue resumes Monday, March 3. …read more

Around-the-clock single-lane traffic on the SR 6 Willapa River Bridge

December 2013 - Pouring concrete for the new bridge deck.

Six weeks after setting girders, crews complete the rebar framework for the new bridge deck and start pouring concrete.

MENLO – Drivers on State Route 6 at the Willapa River Bridge will encounter 10 weeks of around-the-clock single-lane traffic beginning this week. Drivers can expect five-minute delays while an automated signal alternates traffic across the bridge. Reducing SR 6 to a single lane allows crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to rebuild…

Driver spins out, ends up in median of SR 12 in Central Park

The Washington State Patrol reports just after 1 p.m. Monday a 2005 Chevy Blazer failed to negotiate the corner on State Route 12 near Devonshire road, spun out of control, went through the cable barrier and came to rest in the median. A 3 year old, and two Montesano women in the vehicle, aged 19…

WSDOT: Cleaning of three southwest Washington bridges could affect traffic

It’s not quite spring, but starting Monday, Feb. 3, Washington State Department of Transportation crews will be doing some heavy cleaning on three steel bridges in Cowlitz and Lewis counties. The State Route 4 Peter Crawford, State Route 433 Lewis and Clark, and the northbound Interstate 5 Cowlitz River bridges will all get a scrubbing…

WSDOT recaps 2013 pontoon progress, raises 12th man flag for Seahawks

Crews working to build the new SR 520 floating bridge show their support for the Seahawks at the construction work zone in Medina.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is looking back at 2013, and tells KBKW crews made major progress building the new SR 520 corridor last year. From multiple pontoon float-outs in Aberdeen and Tacoma to nearing completion of the highway’s Eastside enhancements to preparing for the next phase of construction in Seattle, the past year…

15 years in the making: Four lanes coming to SR 502 between I-5 and Battle Ground

BATTLE GROUND – Fifteen years ago, the concept of a four-lane State Route 502 was first brought before the community. …read more

WSDOT to fund added SR520 costs with additional revenue

WSDOT 520 Orange

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 Route 520 floating bridge. In late December WSDOT executed five new change orders for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program with its pontoon and floating…

Fourth cycle of SR 520 supplemental pontoons nearly complete in Tacoma

Six more SR 520 pontoons wait for high tide 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 for the new SR 520 floating bridge. These eight new pontoons are scheduled to be towed out of their casting basin into Commencement Bay over a period…

Weather forecast cancels closures of Highway 12 over White Pass

WHITE PASS, Wash. – Weather forecasters predict up to 1 foot of snow to fall on White Pass in the next several days, which has prompted crews to cancel the nighttime closures planned this week on US 12.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and contractor crews will not close White Pass from the SR 410/US 12 junction west of Naches to the US 12/SR 123 junction east of Packwood from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday, November 4 to 6.

The nighttime closures were scheduled to restore a drainage structure below the roadway after it washed out on October 1. WSDOT and contractor crews are working to find another drainage alternative that will still allow crews to reopen White Pass to two lanes by Thanksgiving.   

Traffic remains reduced to a single-lane alternating traffic through the 200-foot section just east of White Pass. 

Grays Harbor rest area near Elma to close for maintenance

ELMA, Wash. – Motorists who travel along State Route 8 are advised that the Washington State Department of Transportation rest area on eastbound SR 8 near Elma will be closed Wednesday for maintenance activities.

The rest area will be closed from about 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a number of activities that range from vegetation control to upgrading pumps for sewer and water service.

No WSDOT-operated rest areas are in the vicinity. The nearest rest areas are on Interstate 5 in the Grand Mound area south of Olympia.

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

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.

Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Department arrests 5 in ongoing investigation

ELMA, Wash. – The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s department is unravelling several cases involving a number of stolen firearms, and property crimes in the East County, in all 5 have been arrested.
Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us over the weekend deputies found and arrested a 22 year old Elma man and 21 year old Montesano man from an Elma home, both were later tied to a vehicle theft in July.
Shumate said yesterday at around 10:40 am, deputies responded to a report of subjects burning electrical wiring under the Wildcat Creek Bridge on SR 12 near SR 8.  Deputies were aware of recent wire thefts from burglaries that occurred to the Grays Harbor County Fair Grounds.  Investigators had also developed information that the potential suspects of those burglaries were individuals who had been arrested in the past for stealing firearms, and firearms had been taken from some of the residential burglaries near Elma, to include the home on Stamper Road. 

Upon contact at the Wildcat Creek Bridge, deputies located numerous individuals who were actively burning the insulation off of electrical wiring.  Deputies had ordered the subjects to the ground however one individual fled to the west toward the Pacific Pride fuel station.  This subject, a 29 year old McCleary man, was well known to the deputies for numerous crimes that he had committed in the past.  Some of those crimes included the theft of firearms and possession of illegal drugs.  This subject was also known to be assaultive toward officers. 

Repair costs, and revised schedule for SR 520 pontoons announced

SR 520 PontoonsSEATTLE, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Transportation and its contractors have reached agreements on the cost of repairing four pontoons from the first construction cycle and modifying another four pontoons from the second cycle for the new State Route 520 floating bridge.


In February, WSDOT acknowledged a design error that led to cracks in the initial cycle of concrete pontoons, which also required modifications to the second construction cycle to meet the new bridge’s 75-year design life. At that time, WSDOT estimated repairs would cost tens of millions of dollars.


Repairs were recommended by an engineering firm specializing in the repair of concrete structures, and then 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.”

Bon voyage party for Bertha draws 5,000 to SR 99 tunnel site

SEATTLE – Start with some sun, soil and celebration. Then add Bertha, the massive machine that will dig the SR 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle, and 5,000 of her closest friends. The result is a party big enough for the biggest tunnel-builder the world has ever seen. 

Thousands of people descended on the SR 99 tunnel launch pit on Saturday for a chance to see Bertha up-close before she starts tunneling later this month. Guests talked to project staff, learned about the project and walked around the construction site, including one of the walkways that spans the 80-foot-deep pit where Bertha will soon start tunneling. 

“This is a historic day,” Gov. Inslee told guests, before participating in a short ceremony to christen the machine. “When I look down into this pit, I don’t just see a big machine. I see determination, I see innovation, I see teamwork, I see a symbol of a community that worked together to move us forward.” 

Southbound US 101 closes north of Olympia for paving

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Transportation reports at 10 p.m. on both Monday, July 22, and Tuesday, July 23, construction crews will close all lanes of southbound US 101 for two miles between Steamboat Island Road and State Route 8 for asphalt grinding and paving. Motorists will be routed around the closure on a detour that uses State Routes 108 and 8. The detour is 26 miles long and adds about 30 minutes to drivers’ trips. Southbound US 101 will reopen each following morning by 4 a.m.


The closure is part of a paving project that will rehabilitate the right lanes of southbound US 101 for a 10-mile stretch between SR 108 and Evergreen Parkway north of Olympia. Work will continue through August, with frequent single-lane closures during night hours on southbound and northbound US 101.