New information this afternoon, following up on a story we published last night on our partner site The South Park News: Construction of the new South Park Bridge has hit a snag, and completion will be delayed at least several months.
First word came from King County Roads’ Jay Osborne at last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, which we were covering for our other partner site, White Center Now; asked by NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin for an update on the bridge’s timeline, he said there had been some trouble with its foundation, and that “conversations” were under way to figure out how that would affect the schedule.
This afternoon, we talked with King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeff Switzer, who says the foundation work did indeed take longer than the contractor expected – particularly the sinking of the caissons through the hardest layer of riverbed – and that means instead of a fall 2013 completion, the bridge won’t be ready until sometime in 2014. The county is awaiting a revised construction schedule, and in the meantime is discussing how to financially help businesses and others affected by the extended period of bridgelessness. It’s already been two and a half years since the old bridge was taken out of service. In the meantime, Switzer says, demolition will start soon on what’s left of the old bridge.