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Emergency repairs required for SR 520 floating bridge anchor cable connection

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Date:  Thursday, March 08, 2012

Contact: Jeff Switzer , WSDOT SR 520 Communications, 206-819-7230 (cell)

SEATTLE – Emergency repairs will be made to a State Route 520 floating bridge cable connection after divers discovered damage and corrosion during a routine inspection Thursday, March 8.

Underwater repair work will begin on Friday morning, March 9. The floating bridge remains safe and open to traffic, said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.

“This damage was discovered by divers during a routine inspection of this vulnerable floating bridge,” Hammond said. “Each windstorm threatens to cause further damage and demonstrates our need to replace this nearly 50-year-old bridge.”

A media briefing regarding the emergency repair work and weekend Eastside demolition is planned at 4:30 a.m. Friday, March 9, at the Evergreen Point Road overpass in Medina.

Repair work is preliminarily estimated to cost up to $60,000 and will focus on a steel plate and pin connection on the south side of the floating bridge at the anchor to the westernmost pontoon. The anchor is one of 58 that tie the 1.5-mile-long floating bridge to the lakebed.

Immediate repairs are necessary before the next windstorm. Divers say the pin already has slid halfway out of position. If heavy wind and waves batter the bridge, the pin could be forced completely out of position, separating the bridge and cable from the anchor on the lakebed.

Repair work is estimated to take between one and four days.

SR 520 construction closure reminder

Eastside demolition work begins 11 p.m. Friday, closing the floating bridge and highway until 5 a.m. Monday, March 12.

Closure details at a glance

  • Mainline SR 520 and all connected ramps between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday, March 9, to 5 a.m. Monday, March 12.
  • The 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520 will remain open to traffic.
  • Two sections of SR 520 will remain open to traffic: I-5 to Montlake Boulevard and areas east of I-405.

Closure information and detour maps are online. Night work is planned, and residents near the work zone are likely to hear construction noise. Weekend closure details are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/WeekendClosures.


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