SDOT, consultant admit $2M mistake to be fixed on Fauntleroy Expressway

by: John Knicely Updated:

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SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation is working to replace improvements done just two years ago connected to the West Seattle Bridge. 

 SDOT says the consultant has agreed its responsible for $1.9 million in repairs because it recommended bearing pads that aren’t stiff enough. 

 The bearing pads go in between concrete pieces to keep them from smashing together.  But since the pads aren't stiff enough, they've already started to deform.  SDOT will fix this issue by jacking up the bridge like you'd jack up your car to install stiffer pads.

While the consultant admits responsibility, SDOT is not off the hook. 

KIRO 7 asked SDOT Capital Projects Manager, Lorelei Williams, about its people not catching the mistake.

“That's true, we didn't catch it either,” said Williams.  “But they are covering the cost of that flaw.”

 Taxpayers aren't off the hook.  The city will likely end up paying $180K - $270K for the new pads to meet the new safety standards.

 KIRO 7 asked SDOT how they'll prevent similar mistakes.

 “Some of the inspection process we will be doing differently this time,” said Williams.  “We will be taking a closer look during the pad instillation.”

 In the inspection process SDOT says they've also noticed falling concrete, so they'll spend an extra $700K to fix that.  But SDOT insists the bridge is and will be safe.

 The repairs will also force SDOT to close the bridge for as many as 20 nights. Closures will start in April and we'll update you as soon as we know more.

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