WSDOT crews discover damaged anchor cable on existing SR 520 floating bridge

WSDOT maintenance crews discovered on Tuesday that the existing State Route 520 floating bridge has a damaged anchor cable on the north side of the westernmost pontoon.

The loss of one cable does not put the bridge at risk because of safety redundancy built into the bridge’s cable and anchor system, WSDOT officials said. They say operation of the bridge will not be restricted and repairs can be conducted with no impact to the traveling public.

Divers began inspections immediately on Tuesday and will continue through today to evaluate the condition of the cable and its pontoon. There was no visible damage to the pontoon itself or to the adjacent cable.

The pontoon and cable were last inspected in May when crews adjusted the tension to adjust for the seasonal rise of the water level in Lake Washington. There were no issues with the anchor cable at that time.

WSDOT maintenance crews regularly work inside the pontoons and along the anchor cables, as well as conduct thorough annual inspections of the bridge.

A repair plan is being developed at this time and work could begin as soon as Friday or early next week. The cable for this pontoon was replaced in 2010 as part of a planned cable replacement program.

The contractor for the new floating bridge, Kiewit/General/Manson (KGM) A Joint Venture, has been asked to conduct these repairs since they have crews and necessary construction equipment on Lake Washington.

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