Doesn’t change the concerns raised by this now-infamous video, but at least, WSDOT says, last week’s inspection didn’t turn up anything new to worry about. Read on for the just-announced details:
WSDOT bridge inspection crews report that they found no new settlement or structural damage during last week’s inspection of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct.
“While no new settlement was discovered by this inspection, we still consider the viaduct a vulnerable structure,” said Ron Paananen, WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program Administrator. “We will continue moving forward to replace the structure, starting next year with the southern mile.”
In addition to measuring existing cracks and settlement of the viaduct, the closure allowed crews to take care of a few regular maintenance items. Crews repaired worn or damaged expansion joints, bridge rails, service lighting, drainage systems and traffic cameras. They also serviced and cleaned the walls and ventilation systems in the Battery Street Tunnel. WSDOT crews conduct inspections every three months to monitor the viaduct’s condition and keep drivers safe.
In April 2008, four column foundations between Columbia Street and Yesler Way were strengthened after the columns had settled approximately 5-1/2 inches since the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. No new settlement was detected in this area.
Next March, crews will begin work to replace the viaduct between S. Holgate and S. King streets with a new side-by-side roadway that has wider lanes, meets current earthquake standards and improves mobility for people and goods in the south of downtown area.
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