CHOKEPOINTS

Demolition of cracking 520 project column to begin soon

Nov 29, 2022, 5:11 AM | Updated: 5:13 am

Ramp support needs to be replaced...

A construction company needs to replace the SR-520 concrete pier cap that resides above I-5 in Seattle, which inspectors found to have cracks and holes during an October inspection. (Courtesy of WSDOT)

(Courtesy of WSDOT)

We found out earlier this month that a concrete column built just this year on the State Route 520 project is already crumbling and needs to be replaced.

The problem was obvious as soon as the wooden forms were removed from the pier in October.  The concrete was breaking off. Re-bar was exposed. And the cracks were large. There was no doubt it would have to be rebuilt.

SR 520 ramp closed through February for vibration testing

“We’ve been working with the contractor on a rebuilding plan to determine the best possible way they can go out there and take that crossbeam down and rebuild it,” the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Tony Black said.

Black said the column is fine. It’s the top cap that needs to be replaced. A demolition plan should get underway in a few weeks, and the entire rebuild should be done before the end of the year.

“It will likely take a few days, and it will likely be at night,” Black said.

I promised westbound 520 drivers that they would get their second lane to southbound Interstate 5 back early next year. Will this work delay that from happening?

“That lane reduction wasn’t just for the concrete pier,” Black said. “It was mostly for the work zone areas around there.” That lane restriction should be eliminated by the end of February.

The other big question is, who will pay for this mistake? WSDOT said the contractor will eat the cost.

New ‘ramp support’ over I-5 needs to be replaced

Just a reminder of what WSDOT is doing here. This column will help support a new concrete flyover ramp connecting the 520 and the I-5 Express Lanes. It will be a reversible lane that will switch with the express lanes. It will go westbound 520 to southbound I-5 in the morning and northbound I-5 to eastbound 520 in the afternoon.

It is scheduled to open in 2024, about the same time as the Montlake Lid project wraps up.

This reversible lane will begin as a bus-only lane, but it will convert to an HOV lane for all vehicles when the 520 connection to I-5 is complete in about nine years.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

Chokepoints

Police lights...

Micki Gamez

‘This is an ongoing effort:’ King County officers report 36 DUIs in one weekend

Last weekend King County officers conducted a mobile impaired driving unit to get drivers under the influence off the roads.

2 days ago

Image: A multi-vehicle collision including a semitruck on Interstate 5 in Fife slowed down traffic ...

Steve Coogan

1 killed in multi-vehicle crash on I-5 south in Fife; morning traffic affected

The Washington State Patrol is on the scene of a deadly multi-vehicle crash that occurred on I-5 south in Pierce County early Friday.

2 days ago

Photo: SDOT Roadway Structures Director Kit Loo inspects newly installed carbon fiber wrapping unde...

Micki Gamez

Upcoming construction: SDOT to prepare bridges for next big earthquake

There are 16 Seattle roadway and pedestrian bridges that need upgrading in the event the next big earthquake hits.

3 days ago

zipper merge...

Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: Drivers slow to understand zipper merge, would better signs help?

With the lack of general merging etiquette in the Pacific Northwest, why are so many drivers slow to pick up and use the zipper merge?

3 days ago

Image: All lanes on Interstate 5 south in Everett were closed on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. It cause...

Steve Coogan

Shooting caused all lanes on I-5 south in Everett to close Wednesday

The Washington State Patrol is investigating a shooting that occurred late Wednesday morning I-5 south that closed all lanes for drivers.

4 days ago

beach driving washington...

Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: The do’s and don’ts of beach driving in Washington

Driving on the beach is one of those great experiences that we have here in Washington, but it appears that many people don't know the rules.

5 days ago

Demolition of cracking 520 project column to begin soon