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Legislators get chance to grill Hammond on viaduct mistake

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on July 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm with 1 Comment »
July 13, 2010 2:57 pm

Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond will face legislators Thursday over her agency’s $890,000 error on the Nalley Valley Viaduct project.

Hammond has said blame for the misplaced ramp off of eastbound state Route 16 goes “up and down the agency” and said she and her staff could have communicated better in the months between the Department of Transportation finding the problem and the public learning about it.

It’s on the agenda for a regularly scheduled joint meeting of the House and Senate transportation committees Thursday.

Among the lawmakers getting the chance to grill Hammond is the chairwoman of the Senate panel, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, who has said she wants an investigation into how the mistake happened and why her committee wasn’t told.

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. Sagacious says:

    So, we have a mistake and the fingers point at everyone . . . no one to blame, no discipline, spend more money to hire an outside watchdog.

    Why not just disband the WSDOT design department and hire a contractor, e.g. Narrows Bridge. In fact, keep a couple of concept folks around and hire out, to bid (with warranty), the design and construction of all future work, and fire those folks that hang around, even when nothing is happening.

    “The $890,000 is the ramp reconstruction cost – the change order cost – and does not include WSDOT’s labor costs to troubleshoot, redesign, and ultimately issue new construction documents.” See the WSDOT website FAQ: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/PierceCountyHOV/SR16_WBNalleyValley/RamptoSpragueFAQ.htm

    While WSDOT is explaining the mistake with the off-ramp, ask them how the 90 degree corner, at the top of the ramp, is going to work. The off-ramp from a 55 mph highway to a 90 degree turn in 700 feet and then they may want to examine what happens when a semi misses the turn and tumbles over a 60 foot drop or gets stuck attempting the corner. Too bad we don’t know who thinks this stuff up and, thus, no particular idiot to remove from the department. Check this link: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/PierceCountyHOV/SR16_WBNalleyValley/new_desviz.htm

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