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Quality assurance program working as planned on pontoon project

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Date:  Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Contact: Suanne Pelley, SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3578, 206-437-5717 (cell)

Nine pre-cast wall panels out of 345 rejected, replaced prior to installation in the new pontoons

SEATTLE – Crews working in Aberdeen on cycle 2 of the pontoons for the new State Route 520 floating bridge have completed construction of 345 pre-cast concrete wall panels. Contractor Kiewit-General has rejected nine of these walls as part of their quality assurance and quality control processes required by the Washington State Department of Transportation in its pontoon contract.

These nine panels had not yet been installed inside the pontoons. They were discarded and new concrete panels were poured. Of the nine panels discarded, three exceeded the contractual limits for cracking and six were rejected due to a duct alignment issue. Approximately 90 percent of the panels have been placed to date.

“Early detection of these panel issues shows that the established quality assurance process is working,” said Julie Meredith, SR 520 program director. “Inspections of all concrete will continue as the construction proceeds. We know that with concrete, cracking happens. We’re working with the contractor to minimize it and meet all contract requirements.” Meredith said the contract specifies when concrete must be replaced or repaired.

“The safety of travelers is always our first priority, and we are addressing all of the challenges that occur in a construction project,” Meredith said, noting that WSDOT will not officially accept the pontoons, including those from cycle 1, from the contractor until they meet contract requirements. “When the new bridge is open to traffic, it will be a safe structure that will meet the needs of our state for 75 years or more.”

Construction on the $367 million SR 520 Pontoon Construction Project broke ground in February 2011 in Aberdeen. Construction on the $586.6 million SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings Project began in spring 2012.

The latest jobs report counted 832 jobs directly connected to the pontoon and floating bridge project sites in Aberdeen, Tacoma, Kenmore, Bellevue and Lake Washington.

More project information is available online:

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