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
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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 the highway so it meets up with a newly constructed bridge just 12 feet southwest of the existing one.
Crews plan to shift single-lane traffic to the new bridge in late March and then start demolishing the existing, 85-year-old steel-truss bridge.
This work is part of WSDOT’s project to replace the SR 6 Willapa River Bridge with a wider, more modern structure. The project is expected to be complete this summer.
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 and 18 were not injured. The driver was cited for speeding too fast for conditions.
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 over the next two months.
Over time, bridges accumulate various substances that can damage the structure, including dirt, mildew, road spray, chemicals, and bird and animal feces. A regular washing cycle can reduce damage and help improve the efficiency of WSDOT’s rigorous bridge inspection program.
“Cleaning off the grime means we get less rust, paint lasts longer and the bridge stays in better shape overall,” said WSDOT Bridge Supervisor Mike London. “Clean bridges are also easier to inspect, which helps us keep them in good repair and safe for drivers.”
Bridge washing timelines and traffic impacts
SR 4 Peter Crawford Bridge
• Mondays-Thursdays, Feb. 3-20
• Single-lane closures from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge
• Mondays-Fridays, Feb. 10-March 20
• Narrow lanes, no over-width loads from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Delays of up to 30 minutes
Northbound I-5 Cowlitz River Bridge
• Saturdays and Sundays, March 1-16
• Single-lane closures from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The 63-year-old Peter Crawford Bridge carries SR 4 over the Cowlitz River in Kelso. Crews will clean debris from the structure by hand and then use a low pressure, high volume water hose to wash the bridge from top to bottom.
The 84-year-old SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge between Longview and Rainier, Ore. was recently painted and does not need to be hand-cleaned. WSDOT crews will wash all of the steel elements in and below the bridge deck. The superstructure – the latticed steel above the roadway – will not be washed this year.
Two side-by-side structures carry I-5 over the Cowlitz River in southern Lewis County. This year, crews will wash only the northbound bridge. Like the Peter Crawford Bridge, the 61-year-old northbound I-5 Cowlitz River Bridge must be hand-cleaned before it can be washed.
Through its comprehensive bridge program, WSDOT cares for nearly 3,500 bridges and structures statewide. Crews regularly inspect and perform spot cleaning and repairs, and regular overall cleanings help further protect taxpayers’ investments in our state transportation system.
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 was busy.
The department has compiled all the 2013 highlights in a year-in-review newsletter. You can find several notable accomplishments “By The Numbers,” from bridge anchors set on the bed of Lake Washington (58) to girders set for new Eastside overpasses (more than 300!). You’ll also see the key milestones reached each month, from January through December.
2014 promises to be just as busy. This spring, the fourth cycle of completed pontoons from Aberdeen is expected to float out. In the summer, the new Eastside corridor should open to drivers, and construction is set to begin for the highway’s next phase in Seattle, the West Approach Bridge North. Bridge assembly will continue all year on Lake Washington, as pontoons are joined to one another to form the new floating bridge.
Crews working on the new SR 520 floating bridge took a brief pause on Jan. 14 to show their spirited support of the Seattle Seahawks and their playoff run. Workers stood atop a pier for the new east approach bridge structure in Medina and proudly draped the “12th Man” flag. Best of luck to the Seahawks this weekend as they take on the 49ers at Century Link field. Go Hawks!
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 bridge contractors. These change orders total $42.65 million, of which $37.1 million is with Kiewit-General Joint Venture for the redesigned pontoon work on Cycles 3 through 6.
In a media briefing today, Washington Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson and SR 520 Program Director Julie Meredith said WSDOT’s pontoon design error is consuming much of the SR 520 program’s $250 million risk reserve. One additional change order associated with the pontoon design error is expected in the next month and will likely bring the total cost associated with the pontoon design mistake to approximately $200 million. WSDOT also has signed or identified expected change orders worth $134.3 million related to other construction in the corridor.
With the signed and expected change orders, plus WSDOT’s thorough analysis of the potential future risks associated with the remaining $800 million in funded construction, the agency has determined that approximately $170 million in additional project funding is required. Peterson said the agency has identified existing funding sources to cover these costs and keep the bridge-replacement project on track.
WSDOT has determined that most of the needed construction funds can be obtained from available SR 520 toll bonding capacity, with other existing agency resources providing the remaining funds, dependent on legislative approval.
The SR 520 program’s legislatively authorized budget currently is capped at $2.72 billion. The budget covers three major projects: Eastside improvements to the SR 520 corridor from Medina to Redmond; the new floating bridge and bridge landings; and pontoon construction. The addition of transit/HOV lanes in both directions from Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood to I-5, along with other corridor enhancements on that stretch of highway, remains unfunded. WSDOT will work with the Legislature to request authority to change the program budget from $2.72 billion to $2.89 billion.
“The original pontoon design included an unfortunate and costly mistake,” Peterson said. “While the error discovered in 2012 is depleting most of the contingency reserve, we are proactively managing the remaining risks and don’t foresee the need for new funding sources to complete the work at hand and move our region closer to a safer, higher-capacity, multimodal 520 corridor.”
In 2012, WSDOT determined that repairs and modifications were needed on four pontoons from Cycle 1 as a result of a design error. In addition, all remaining pontoons required either modifications or construction using an updated design. WSDOT contractors have since completed repairs on two of the four Cycle 1 pontoons, and will complete repairs on the remaining two pontoons this spring.
When complete, the SR 520 program will replace the existing, 50-year-old SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington with a safer structure, dedicated lanes in each direction for buses and high-occupancy vehicles, a separate path along the highway corridor for bicyclists and pedestrians, and environmental improvements along SR 520 between I-5 in Seattle and SR 202 in Redmond. The new floating bridge is expected to open to traffic in late 2015 or early 2016.
More information about the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr520bridge.
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 of four days. The pontoons will be floated out in pairs – the first two on Dec. 26, the last two on Dec. 30 – and then moored for later towing to Lake Washington.
The eight new supplemental pontoons will help provide stability and flotation when attached to much longer, longitudinal pontoons built in Aberdeen. The bridge’s supplemental pontoons each weigh 2,500 to 2,820 tons and measure 98 feet long, 50 to 60 feet wide, and about 28 feet tall.
In all, 44 Tacoma-built pontoons and 33 pontoons built in Aberdeen will support the world’s longest floating bridge. With these eight newest pontoons, WSDOT so far has completed 46 of the bridge’s 77 pontoons. Thirty of these have already arrived at their final destination on Lake Washington.
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.