WSDOT

Transportation
12:37 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

WSDOT: Cracks Found On Viaduct, But Roadway Still Safe For Traffic

WSDOT

State highway engineers will shut down a stretch of the Alaskan Way viaduct later this month to take a closer look at cracks found on the roadway.

What workers found during a routine inspection of the viaduct on March 1 isn’t that unusual, says Tom Baker, an engineer with the Washington state Department of Transportation.

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Transportation
1:15 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

State Needs $170 Million More To Finish 520 Bridge

On Oct. 16, 2013 Kiewit-General crews prepared for the fourth cycle of pontoon construction in Aberdeen by placing the massive formwork into the casting basin.
WSDOT

State officials say they need $170 million more to complete a replacement of the Highway 520 floating bridge on Lake Washington.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said Wednesday that an agency error on pontoon design error is consuming most of the project's reserve funds. Lawmakers had capped the project budget at $2.72 billion, but state transportation officials are now asking the Legislature to raise that to $2.89 billion.

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Bertha, The Boring Machine
2:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

What's Blocking Bertha? Probably A Steel Pipe The State Put There, WSDOT Says

WSDOT

A steel pipe that the state Department of Transportation itself had installed back in 2002 sits in the way of Bertha underneath Seattle, WSDOT said on Friday, and it may be the cause of the weeks-long work stoppage.

An inspection on Jan. 2 “showed an 8-inch-diameter steel pipe protruding through one of the many openings in the cutterhead,” WSDOT said, adding the agency had installed the pipe, a well casing, in the wake of the 2001 Nisqually quake to better understand groundwater flow. 

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Road construction mishap
8:01 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

State says defective support caused lumber to fly off Tacoma viaduct

On June 29th, a defective wood support beam collapsed on the Nalley Valley Viaduct project.
Joe Bushnell

The Washington State Department of Transportation has now figured out what caused construction lumber to fall off the Highway 16 Nalley Valley Viaduct project and smash onto South Tacoma Way on June 29th.

As KPLU reported, the falling lumber barely missed landing on a man on a moped.

WSDOT says the contractor has now determined that the cause was a defective four-by-six wood support beam, which collapsed spilling the construction lumber onto the roadway below.

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Road construction mishap
3:49 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

WSDOT unsure why lumber flew off Tacoma viaduct site onto road

Broken plywood, on which four-by-fours were stored, as seen from under the bridge.
Joe Bushnell

The Washington state Department of Transportation is trying to figure out what went wrong on Saturday when dozens of pieces of construction lumber on the Nalley Valley viaduct project on Highway 16 came loose and fell onto the roadway below, smashing into pieces as drivers watched in disbelief. 

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520 floating bridge
1:14 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Construction vessel may have harmed 520 floating bridge

FILE
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

A construction vessel working on a new Highway 520 floating bridge on Lake Washington at Seattle may be responsible damaging an anchor cable on the existing bridge.

The Transportation Department says the area around the bridge is restricted, except for construction vessels.

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transportation planning
5:01 am
Wed May 29, 2013

WSDOT: Traffic on state roadways at 10-year low

Dougtone Flickr

It may not feel like it when you’re in your car, but figures from the state Department of Transportation show there is less traffic on Washington’s roads than at any time in the last 10 years.

Between 1980 and 2002, the miles driven on the state’s roads more than doubled, from 15 billion per year to about 32 billion. Then suddenly, it leveled off and stayed that way for the past decade.

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Transportation alternatives
5:50 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

AAA's roadside service goes electric

Seattle/Bellevue is getting one of AAA's new Electric Vehicle Charging trucks.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Driving an all-electric vehicle just got a bit more mainstream.

The AAA Auto Club of Washington has launched a new emergency roadside service for electric cars. It now has a truck with a generator on board that can rescue drivers in the greater Seattle area if they’ve run out of charge.

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transportation
5:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Bill calls for reports to lawmakers on costly WSDOT errors

Big mistakes made on the design and construction of pontoons for the new 520 floating bridge could lead to tougher reporting requirements for the Washington state Department of Transportation.

Lawmakers want more transparency and accountability when it comes to costly mistakes. Repairs to cracks in the new 520 pontoons, for example, are expected to cost tens of millions of dollars.

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transportation
6:04 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

WSDOT admits big mistakes on 520 pontoons

Additional work on the 520 bridge pontoons could cost tens of millions of dollars extra and push back the new bridge's opening by six months, after an expert review panel found design flaws that must be fixed.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Big mistakes were made by the State Department of Transportation in its construction of the pontoons that will hold up the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

The agency says it is making repairs and design modifications to ensure the bridge will last the full 75 year lifespan promised.

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

San Fran’s popular Sidecar is the latest ridesharing app for Seattle

Online apps that track riders' whereabouts make this scene safer. Sidecar is the latest such service in Seattle.
sivinjski danijel flickr

Did you get stuck in traffic during the Thanksgiving weekend? Or: worry about your kids getting dicey rides home from holiday parties?

Those are two reasons you might be interested in a relatively new,
alternative form of transportation: ridesharing.

It's really just a new spin on hitchhiking. Only, when you add in cell phones with an app to download, it’s quicker and more convenient to find the right ride.

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520 Floating Bridge
7:30 am
Thu November 15, 2012

WSDOT says cracks in new SR-520 pontoons are par for the course

Construction on on the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington, just north of the old bridge. WSDOT says it wants to show more transparency as the repair process on cracked pontoons continues.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

You may have heard about some issues with the large concrete pontoons being built for the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington. Several of them sprung leaks and cracks after the cement set in Aberdeen.

But the state Department of Transportation says drivers don’t need to worry; the situation is under control.

Click the "play" icon below to see video of State Construction Engineer Jeff Carpenter describing how pontoon cracks are being patched to ensure they will last 75 years, as stipulated in the design plan:

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Highway 520 design in federal court on Tuesday

The state's planned replacement for the SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington has sparked a lawsuit from Seattle neighborhoods, who say it is too big and too expensive. It is nearly twice as wide as the old bridge.
WSDOT image

Even as its construction is well underway, design plans for the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington continue to spark controversy.

A federal judge will hear oral arguments tomorrow in a lawsuit against the replacement project by the State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

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Traffic News
3:47 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

520 Tolls – Drive around or pay? Many are driving around

Consumers must choose how to allot their time and money when deciding how to handle automatic tolls in place on the SR 520 bridge. You can save money by registering with the state's Good to Go system, but must choose a transponder and set up an account.
WSDOT photo

Today is the first big day for car commuters since automatic tolling went live on the 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

It’s viewed as the start of the first really meaningful data-set for people who crunch numbers behind the scenes of the State Department of Transportation.

So far, the commute has pushed traffic to the south, with the I-90 bridge seeing more congestion … and more room created on 520, where drivers now have to pay to cross.

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transportation choices
4:33 am
Wed December 28, 2011

520 Tolls starting tomorrow

Tolling rates for the 520 bridge. You can save money by registering with the state's Good to Go system. Drivers without transponders will pay the highest rates
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Tomorrow (Thursday, 12-29-11), electronic tolls will kick in on the 520 bridge across lake Washington.

A series of technical glitches caused multiple past delays.  But now, the reader boards are going live and billing drivers on the most popular route between Seattle and the east side.

There are many creative ways to get around the tolls, but you’re bound to have to pay, sooner or later.

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