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WSDOT fires one worker, demotes another for 520 mistakes

One worker has been fired and another one demoted for what the Washington State Department of Transportation said are design flaws that have caused cracks in some of the new 520 bridge pontoons. (WSDOT Flickr)

One worker has been fired and another one demoted for what the Washington State Department of Transportation said are design flaws that have caused cracks in some of the new 520 bridge pontoons.

"This is in response to an internal assessment that was called on by Secretary (Paula) Hammond in October 2012," said Lars Erikson, spokesperson with the WSDOT.

The WSDOT's chief of staff issued the disciplinary letters last Friday, April 5. It will not name the two employees at this time, but only two workers will be disciplined.

"There is an appeals process. It's covered by the Personnel Resources Board and both of these actions are considered appealable," said Erikson.

The Seattle Times reports that the cost of fixing the flaws will virtually wipe out the savings the WSDOT claimed in the low bids for the project in 2010.

Construction on the new 520 bridge is expected to continue into 2015.

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