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.