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Repairs underway on damaged 520 bridge anchor cable

Repairs to a damaged anchor cable on the State Route 520 floating bridge in Seattle are underway. Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews and the contractor for the new floating bridge, Kiewit/General/Manson (KGM) A Joint Venture, are working together to install a new anchor cable as soon as possible. KGM's 520 construction operations are based in Kenmore.

“Repairs will be completed quickly because much of the equipment we need is already on Lake Washington,” said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator Dave McCormick.

Drivers will not be affected while a replacement anchor cable is installed to the north side of the western high rise. Divers will check the cable and anchor on the south side to ensure there is no damage.

WSDOT bridge crews regularly inspect the SR 520 bridge and discovered the damaged cable on the north side of the westernmost pontoon Tuesday, June 25. WSDOT crews had checked the pontoon just three weeks before and did not see any evidence of damage.

“We’ve narrowed down the time period when something impacted this cable close to the bridge, causing it to break,” added McCormick.

WSDOT is filing a report about this incident with the U.S. Coast Guard, and is continuing its investigation.

Preliminary repair costs are estimated to be approximately $200,000. The area around the cable is restricted to marine traffic, with the exception of construction vessels. WSDOT will try to determine the responsible party and seek reimbursement for repair costs.

The cable for this pontoon was replaced in 2010 as part of a preventive maintenance program. A safety redundancy built into the bridge’s cable and anchor system means there is no risk to drivers due to the break.

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