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


Troubled Viaduct Develops New Cracks

Friday, March 14, 2014

Comment | More

New cracks discovered on a seismically unstable double-deck highway in Seattle warrant a closer look, transportation officials say.

A recent inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct revealed new cracks in the 61-year-old elevated road's girders and supports, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Monday (March 10).

WSDOT says the road is still safe, but the new cracks, along with the movement and widening of existing ones, have prompted bridge engineers to schedule a follow-up, "in-depth" inspection on March 22. 

Alaskan Way Viaduct
Photos: Flickr / WSDOT

Since the 6.8-magnitude 2001 Nisqually earthquake, WSDOT has been working to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The structure is inspected four times a year.

"While the viaduct remains safe for travel, engineers need a second inspection to gather more information about the cracks before they can make repairs," WSDOT stated. 

13 Years of Cracking

Built in 1953, the Alaskan Way Viaduct carries SR 99 along Seattle's waterfront and sees about 110,000 vehicles per day. 

The viaduct, as well as its supporting Alaskan Way Seawall, was damaged in the 6.8-magnitude Nisqually earthquake in 2001.

After the earthquake, sections of the viaduct sunk several inches, and WSDOT quickly stabilized the structure. But if the earthquake had lasted a few moments longer, engineers said it would have collapsed. 

The cracks were most likely caused by additional settlement from the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, Seattlepi.com reported

WSDOT viaduct cracks

The discovery of new cracks, as well as the widening of existing ones, warrants an extra inspection, WSDOT says.

Ever since the earthquake, the viaduct "requires constant maintenance and attention to stay in service," WSDOT says, which is why the agency inspects it four times per year.

During the March 22 inspection, WSDOT says it will conduct an in-depth evaluation of the area, perform tests to determine how the cracks respond to heavy loads on the viaduct, and look for other issues. 

Engineers will also install monitoring devices on the columns to keep an eye on how the cracks grow and move over time. The data will be used to identify potential repairs, which may include injecting epoxy into the cracks, according to WSDOT. 

Moving Underground

The cracked section of the viaduct is located a little over a half-mile north of the massive SR 99 tunneling machine, Bertha. The tunnel is being built in order to take the viaduct out of service "before the next significant earthquake," according to WSDOT. 

Although the agency has not officially determined the cause of the cracks, it says they are not related to the tunneling work. 

Bertha, the world's largest tunneling machine, started digging July 30, 2013. However, work has been stalled since December after an issue with the machine's seal system. 

Bertha tunneling machine

Bertha, the world's largest tunneling machine, is being used to dig a tunnel underneath Seattle to replace the seismically unstable viaduct.

The new, two-mile-long tunnel is expected to open by the end of 2015. 

Half of the viaduct has already been demolished and replaced.

The other half has an automated closure system that WSDOT installed in 2011. If the system's earthquake monitoring device detects significant ground movement, it will simultaneously lower all nine traffic gates and close the viaduct within two minutes. 

The viaduct replacement projects are estimated to cost $3.1 billion. 

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Cracking; DOT; Inspection; Roads/Highways; Tunnel

Comment from Dennis Justice, (3/14/2014, 5:07 PM)

Should have built the suspension bridge...


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
CHLOR*RID International Inc.
 
SOLUTIONS THAT WORK
 
Companies that invest in corrosion control use CHLOR RID products
  • Soluble salt removal liquid
  • Test kits to verify contamination levels
  • Surface passivation to hold the blast
INFO@CHLOR-RID.COM 800.422.3217
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Quality
 
The ALPHA1 provides a consistent finish day-in
day-out; job to job.
 

 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
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
 

 
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.
 

 
Abrasives Inc.
 
Discover the MAGIC.
 
Black Magic® coal slag. It’s consistent, cleaner, cuts better, less dust. Get it where you need it, when you need it. Abrasives Inc. info@abrasivesinc.com
 

 
Atlantic Design, Inc.
 
GOING BEYOND INDUSTRY STANDARDS
 
The ADI HD40 Dust Collector is a smaller, more economical way to meet/ exceed Industry standards. Watch the video for details on our website. 866.Call.ADI
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments
 
Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
How to reduce your blasting cost ?
 
W Abrasives is able to reduce the global blasting cost to its customers by offering specific ranges of products and technical support dedicated to their application.
 

 
 
 

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