PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Broken Bridge to Cost $170M Extra

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Comment | More

Design mistakes on a floating bridge megaproject in Washington State are sucking every last cent out of the project’s risk reserve fund, and the state says it will need an additional $170 million to finish the bridge.

The surprise nine-figure tab is the latest glitch in the troubled multibillion-dollar SR 520 bridge replacement project, which will provide a seamless transition from the floating bridge over Lake Washington to fixed bridges offshore and on land, connecting Seattle and Medina.

Construction of the 7,500-foot-long floating structure has been problematic since May 2012, when Washington State Department of Transportation crews found cracking and spalling after completing post-tensioning on a longitudinal pontoon.

WSDOT design mistakes
Photos: WSDOT

After admitting that its own design errors caused problems with giant floating pontoons, WSDOT says change orders will use up the remaining risk reserve fund, and an extra $170 million is needed.

A few months later, ballast water was found leaking between two cells in one pontoon and moisture on the inside of an end wall in another.

The project is the first construction phase of the $4.65 billion SR 520 - I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project. In January 2011, WSDOT awarded a $586 million design-build contract to Kiewit-General Joint Venture to build the concrete pontoons and a six-lane bridge, among other things.

Depleting the Reserve

Last week, Washington Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson and SR 520 Program Director Julie Meredith announced that WSDOT's pontoon design error was consuming much of the program's $250 million risk reserve.

The agency has proposed funding the $170 million shortfall with existing revenue sources, and Peterson said those sources had been identified.

"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, high-capacity, multimodal 520 corridor," Peterson said.

WSDOT says it has reached agreement with its pontoon contractor for added costs associated with building pontoons. The agency is working with the state legislature to approve an increase in its budget for the project.

'Unfortunate and Costly Mistake'

In February 2013, WSDOT admitted that the agency's own design mistakes were to blame for the problems. Designing the pontoons itself was the agency's strategy to attract lower bids and get the floating section built by 2014. The winning bid to build the pontoons was $180 million less than the state expected to pay.

SR 520 foating bridge

At 50 years old, the SR 520 bridge is vulnerable to windstorms and earthquakes.

The current SR 520 bridge recently turned 50 years old and is nearing the end of its service life. Carrying 115,000 cars per day with only two lanes in each direction, the bridge's pontoons have become vulnerable to windstorms, and its support columns are vulnerable to earthquakes.

After owning up to its missteps (and firing the state's top bridge engineer), WSDOT announced in August that it had reached agreement with its contractors for change orders totaling $81.1 million. Now, that total will reach $208.2 million with new change orders announced by WSDOT in December.

"The original pontoon design included an unfortunate and costly mistake," Peterson said.

Peeling Concrete

The ill-designed pontoons haven't been the only issue with the floating bridge's construction.

SR 520 change orders

The new bridge is expected to open in late 2015 or early '16.

In October 2012, crews began construction on 10 58-foot-tall concrete columns to put on top of one of the two cross pontoons. KGM inspectors then discovered that one of the concrete columns had too little buffer between the concrete and reinforcing steel. KGM decided to remove and replace the column.

"KGM's decision to replace this column at their expense is the appropriate action," Meredith said at the time.

The columns were formed by pouring concrete around a cylindrical cage or reinforcing bar contained in a temporary steel tube. When the tube was removed from the one column, some of the concrete peeled off with it, and workers found that the rebar cage had shifted during the pour, leaving less than the normal 1.5-inch concrete thickness around the rebar.

The new roadway deck will be installed on top of bridge piers before sloping down onto the columns being constructed on the pontoons.

The new bridge is now expected to open to traffic in late 2015 or early 2016.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Concrete; Construction; Cracking; Department of Transportation (DOT); Design

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Repeatability
 
The ALPHA1 provides reliable results consistently allowing you to cost your next job with confidence.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems
 
Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278
 

 
Strategic Materials Inc.
 
www.truabrasives.com
 
TruAbrasives™, a clean crushed glass abrasive superior to other abrasives for performance, health, and environmental benefits.
 

 
Safway Services
 
Safeguard Assets. Ensure Productivity. HAKI®
 
Protect assets and equipment. Keep facilities open and operational. Maintain schedules regardless of weather. Ensure smooth and continuous production. Easy to erect. Safway is the primary distributor of HAKI® products including HAKISPAN and HAKITEC® 750 – in North America.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Unrivaled Expertise for your Surface Preparation
 
As the global leader in steel abrasives, W Abrasives material is the efficient and eco-friendly solution blasting with you to reach the perfect profile.
 

 
Abrasives Inc.
 
Need more MAGIC around?
 
Black Magic® is a premier solution for abrasive blast media. Stop by our new website & find out how you can get more Magic. www.AbrasivesInc.com 800-584-7524
 

 
US Minerals
 
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
 
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
BASF
 
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
 
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films www.basf.us/industrialcoatings dpsolutions@basf.com 800-231-7868
 

 
Termarust Technologies
 
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
 
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us