Crane repairs cause SR 9 work to be delayed

From left, ironworkers Josh Nichols and Keith Langelle reinforce a wall on the side of State Route 9, between Arlington and Bryant, Feb. 19. -
From left, ironworkers Josh Nichols and Keith Langelle reinforce a wall on the side of State Route 9, between Arlington and Bryant, Feb. 19.
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ARLINGTON Construction work on State Route 9, between Arlington and Bryant, has been postponed for a second time, again due to a crane breakdown.
The Washington State Department of Transportation had originally advised drivers to expect periodic 40-minute closures of Harvey Creek Road, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Feb. 19 through Feb. 21, so that crews could begin setting girders for a new bridge that will take the highway over Harvey Creek and Harvey Creek Road.
However, that work was postponed due to an engine breakdown in one of the cranes, and the girder-setting was rescheduled for Feb. 25 through Feb. 27. WSDOT engineers have since postponed that construction work until early March.
We cant proceed with the girder-settings until we have two functional cranes, said Marlin Lenssen, project engineer for WSDOT. We had hoped to get a replacement crane by the weekend, but theres not one available, so a new motor block will have to be shipped from Germany to repair the existing crane.
Once the crane is repaired, WSDOT still plans to set all six girders in three days, at a rate of two per day, and Lenssen still expects the project will be complete by the fall, aside from minor landscaping.
Crews constructed the foundation for the bridge last fall and will start building the bridge deck once the girders are in place. The bridge is at the north end of a new one-mile stretch of highway that crews are building to eliminate a sharp curve on the existing highway, known in the community as Suicide Hill, which currently limits sight distance for drivers, increasing the risk of collisions.
In addition to straightening the dangerous curve, crews are also adding new turn lanes at the intersections of 252nd and 268th streets NE, upgrading lighting, replacing culverts to improve fish passage and making other changes to enhance safety on the highway. Theyve been busy since starting construction last summer and have already replaced one culvert, installed new drainage systems and filled a dip in the highway near Bryant.
Getting the bridge girders in place will be a big milestone for the project, Lenssen said. We are still on schedule and expect to open the new turn lanes and straightened roadway to traffic by this fall.
This $20 million project is funded in part by the 2003 Nickel Gas Tax.

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