June 10, 2002
Truck damages Bothell bridge
by Jeanette Knutson
Engineers say Bothell's 102nd Avenue Bridge remains structurally sound. It was struck last Monday by construction equipment being towed by a dump truck heading west on Highway 522. According to police, it was the driver's first day on the job.
Damage to the bridge occurred when the track hoe's extended boom struck and scraped the bridge's underside. The bridge clearance is 15 feet 6 inches. The track hoe's boom was about 17 feet high. Three of four support girders were moderately to severely damaged. One of three supporting cross-braces was also severely damaged. Initial repair estimates are in the $100,000 range.
The bridge remains open to vehicular traffic; however, the speed limit across the bridge has been decreased to 15 miles per hour.
Steve Morikawa, project manager with the City of Bothell's Public Works Department said repairs would be a two-step process. First the beams will have to be sandblasted.
"You can't weld over paint," Morikawa said.
Then another contractor will be brought in to do the beam straightening and strengthening. Morikawa said Highway 522 would have one lane open in each direction while repairs are made. Work will most likely be done between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and could last for three weeks. The city hopes to have the first contractor on the job this week.
Acting public information officer for the City of Bothell Police Department Capt. Bob Woolverton said the truck driver had not been sited with a violation, though the incident is still under investigation.
Joyce Goedeke, spokeswoman for the City of Bothell, did not know if the Mill Creek company whose employee was driving the truck at the time of the incident would be held responsible for damages.