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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Aleta Borschowa, WSDOT Project Engineer, 206.768.5862
Greg Phipps, WSDOT Communications, 206.805.2862
SEATTLE – Crews completed major construction on the Aurora Avenue safety fence this week. Contractor Massana Construction began work on the safety fence that runs the length of the Aurora Avenue bridge, known formally as the SR 99 George Washington Memorial Bridge, in fall 2010.
Two rows of 8-foot, 9-inch-tall fencing were installed along the bridge railing on both sides of the bridge between the Fremont and Queen Anne ramps. The fencing is designed to deter people from jumping off the bridge.
The City of Seattle, King County, the state Legislature, friends and family of suicide victims, as well as those who live and work below the bridge supported the project. Community members say they are often traumatized after witnessing these suicides. More than two-thirds of the Aurora Avenue bridge is over land.
In March 2008, the Legislature allocated $1 million to design the fence, and Gov. Christine Gregoire approved the Legislature’s 2009-2011 transportation budget, which included $3.6 million to build the fence.
During construction on the landmark bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, crews found crumbling concrete and corrosion in the steel supports. They could not proceed with the fence work until they completed these repairs. The total cost of the project is $5 million.
For more information on the safety fence can be found at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr99/aurorabridgefence/
Work on a separate $9.3 million project to strengthen the support columns, girders and steel trusses of the 80-year-old bridge is expected to begin this spring. More information about the upcoming seismic retrofit project is available online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr99/aurorabridgeseismicretrofit/
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