The department said it’s making repairs and design modifications to ensure a 75-year life for the bridge.
The exact cost of the repairs hasn’t been determined, but it will be in the tens of millions of dollars, Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond told The Seattle Times.
The changes are the result of findings by an expert review panel that was convened last year to review cracking in the first pontoons built in Aberdeen.
Underwater inspections revealed the pontoons’ worst cracks grew over the winter. The most serious cracks begin in the end walls, and wrap around the upper and lower edges to continue along the top and bottoms.
An untreated underwater crack can let in water at rates of 1 cubic foot per hour, according to a technical report on the bridge.
The panel agrees the pontoons are structurally sufficient, but it found the department didn’t follow standards of good practice to validate the pontoon design elements and did not strictly follow protocols for oversight on the construction site, the department said.
Hammond said disciplinary action will be taken against state bridge division staff who signed off on the design without running models that might have foreseen the cracking.
A total of 77 pontoons will make the world’s longest floating bridge.
More Northwest Headlines
1 dead, 2 injured in drive-by shooting in Federal Way 8:09 a.m. Yakima youngsters mix Legos, science education Activists rappel off Oregon bridge to stop Shell icebreaker Stanwood man pleads guilty to stealing from Swinomish tribe Death penalty dropped from Carnation killings trial Poll: Just 30 percent inclined to re-elect Gov. Inslee GOP lawmakers want Washington to look at Planned Parenthood Salvation Army sets up charging ports for Portland homeless
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.