The $890,000 Oops

Seems the state’s eastbound engineers weren’t talking with the westbound engineers on the Nalley Valley interchange in Tacoma.

According to a Tacoma News Tribune story, the Highway 16 off-ramp to Sprague Avenue was built in the wrong spot. When the highway was changed from two lanes to three, engineers needed to shift the off-ramp to make room for the extra lane. But that wasn’t communicated between the design teams and the engineering plan went out with the off-ramp in the wrong place. Contractors followed the plan.

The mistake was caught back in October when the off-ramp was 90 percent completed, but it didn’t come to light until now. Engineers spent the winter redesigning. Last week, the pavement was torn up. A contingency fund will cover the $890,000 to remove pavement, lower the grade and rebuild the offramp.

Nobody will be disciplined, but new safeguards are being put in place so nothing like that happens again, said Kevin Dayton, administrator for the state Department of Transportation’s Olympic Region,

“Mistakes do get made in engineering and construction,” Dayton said. “We generally catch it in the field. … The big embarrassment is it got built. That seldom, if ever, happens.”

2 thoughts on “The $890,000 Oops

  1. I wonder if mistakes in engineering and construction could happen at the proposed mines in the Dickerson Creek and Chico Creek Sub-basin?
    I wonder if the Department of Transportation build in a step where someone reads the drawings.
    Just wondering.

  2. This is just unbelievable. Not only does this become a huge cost but it also creates a huge inconvenience for all the people that have to drive that bridge everyday.

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