WSDOT: More construction quality problems for ‘Pontoon W’

Image: WSDOT Flickr stream

A Friday afternoon WSDOT press release has more “breaking” news regarding construction issues out on Lake Washington. Let’s remind ourselves of the quality assurance program that guarantees successful delivery of a new 520 floating bridge… and read on:

In October, crews began construction on 10 58-foot-tall concrete columns on top of Pontoon W, one of two cross pontoons that will be installed on the east and west ends of the new floating bridge. This column work requires careful coordination to install reinforcing steel the height of the column, properly align iron forms, and guide concrete into the columns.

As part of its quality assurance process, KGM inspectors discovered that one of these concrete columns had too little buffer between the outer layer of concrete and reinforcing steel inside. This reinforcing steel helps provide resistance to earthquakes and provides strength to support the highway.

KGM project managers determined the column should be removed and replaced in order to meet the project quality requirements. The column will be removed, as early as today, so the replacement work can begin. The removed column will be dismantled and the concrete and steel rebar will be recycled.

“KGM’s decision to replace this column at their expense is the appropriate action. KGM is implementing the quality assurance program that is a key component of our contract,” said Julie Meredith, SR 520 program director.