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SR 520 construction crane, barges drift from work zone during high winds

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Date:  Monday, September 30, 2013

Contact: Andrew Richardson, SR 520 Communications, 206-770-3506; 206-660-5924 (mobile)

Equipment now secure; no initial reports of damage as investigations continue

SEATTLE – A floating crane and two attached barges drifted from the State Route 520 construction zone during last night’s windstorm, stopping short of the Laurelhurst shoreline in Seattle. Initial examinations show no damage to the existing bridge, construction equipment or nearby properties. Additional investigations are underway.

The equipment is used by contractor Mowat-American Joint Venture to build the SR 520 West Connection Bridge project. A tugboat retrieved the equipment at approximately 2 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30. The equipment is now moored in the construction area. Mowat-American is taking additional precautions to plan ahead for high winds this evening.

Washington State Department of Transportation Floating Bridge Construction Manager Dave Becher directed Mowat-American to further examine the Laurelhurst shoreline for possible damage, as well as determine the cause of the crane’s movement and methods to prevent a similar incident in the future. WSDOT and floating bridge contractor Kiewit/General/Manson, A Joint Venture are inspecting the existing and new floating bridges for damage.

Winds reached sustained gusts of 30 to 40 mph between 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 29, and 2 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30. If sustained gusts reach 50 mph for more than 15 minutes, WSDOT crews close the SR 520 floating bridge to traffic and open the drawspan.

Construction of the new SR 520 floating bridge is underway on Lake Washington. The new bridge is designed to withstand winds of up to 89 mph.


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