Road Warrior

Travis Baker blogs about the problems and idiosyncrasies of Kitsap highways and byways.
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Olympic Interchange being fixed – again?

July 31st, 2014 by travis baker

The in basket: The news release issued this week telling of a protracted repair project on the Olympic Interchange bridge on Highway 16 in Gig Harbor surprised me. I thought it had already been fixed. I recall seeing the exposed rebar after a reader asked me what happened, and lane closures for work that covered the damage.

The news release also said the state would be seeking compensation from the company responsible for the damage, but didn’t say how much it will cost, or if they know who hit it.

The out basket: What I was recalling was an earlier incident that damaged the bridge in 2011, says Claudia Bingham-Baker of the Olympic Region public affairs staff for the state Department of Transportation. That damage was repaired but the bridge was hit by an over-height load again last year.

This time, in addition to installing a new girder on the westbound half of the bridge, “to restore the integrity of the overpass,” the westbound lanes of SR 16 will be restriped to gain just over two inches of vertical clearance, and new overhead signs will be installed, she said. The westbound lanes are the ones heading toward Kitsap County.

The highway will be closed four nights with traffic detoured onto the off- and on-ramps, she said. The closures haven’t been scheduled.

They do know who hit it and the bill for the work, to last the rest of 2014, is estimated to be $1.4 million, she said.

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One Response to “Olympic Interchange being fixed – again?”

  1. BearTex3 Says:

    They will never find out who hit that overpass. Funny thing is the fact that it got hit again right after it got repaired. And chances are it was hit by a truck that had a piece of equipment on it’s trailer that was not loaded right. For example if an excavator was loaded and it boom arm was not all the way in the down position. Plus you know it had to happen at night cause there are way to many vehicles on that road during the day for it to happen and no call it in. Another thing is fact that if it was heavy equipment and it barely nicked the overpass as it appears the driver may not even realize it until they arrive at there destination and even then most drivers dont want that on their record, so they wont call it in no matter what. Cause most of the time no matter what, any accident whether at fault or not goes on a truck drivers record. And that can ruin their drivers record. In my opinion it probably was not a box truck since those trailers are almost always at the same height and most overpasses are set at a height to prevent that. Besides if it was hit by a truck trailer, even a small hit on an overpass would create alot of damage to one of those trailers since they are very thin metal and light rib frames.
    As a former truck driver I have seen just about everything out there including trucks hitting the overpasses…

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You can reach Travis Baker at tvisb@wavecable.com

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