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Thursday, October 6

The situation on southbound I-410

We've had more than a few calls about southbound I-410 as it crosses over WW White on the east end of town, where we've got traffic squeezed to a single lane. The area is tough to explain, so we'll just have to show you:
The single-lane situation has been in place since September 26 - or about a week and a half. We tweeted about the closure when it started but hadn't had a chance to get a detailed update on what happened or what our timeline is.
In an effort to avoid burying the lede here, we'll have it reopened to full capacity around the start of December.
The details?
Last week we discovered damage to the concrete bridge rail barrier, which poses a safety hazard. Take a look:
With the damage, traffic engineers put up the closure. Over the last week-plus, we've had several call to express concern over the lack of workers present during the closure. Because we don't yet have a contractor on board to do the repairs, we wouldn't have workers on-site - but the safety hazard still exists, so the closure is indeed necessary. Here's the timeline:

Monday, Sept. 26
The damage was discovered and law enforcement, cooperating with our maintenance folks, set up the initial closure. Our maintenance guys had the long-term closure in place before the afternoon, and we started looking for reports of a crash that would have caused the damage.
That's right, the damage came from a crash. And, apparently, the crash wasn't reported as having caused the damage. So we got busy tracking that down (so we can find an insurance company to bill for the damage) and got our bridge folks notified for the need of an inspection.

Tuesday, Sept 27-Tuesday, Oct 4
Bridge engineers checked the extent of the damage and got the data processed for designs to be drawn for the repair. Typically, we need to tear out more than the initially damaged portion of the bridge. The steel reinforcement that's inside the concrete gets bent and, in order to maintain structural integrity, we often need to replace the whole steel cages in there as well as the small portion that's been damaged.

Wednesday-Thursday, October 5-6
Reaching out to contractors to let them know of the repair project coming up so they can prepare bids.

Friday, October 7
We'll "let" the emergency repair contract to get bids and select a contractor to do the repairs. We use the low-bid system, accepting the lowest bonded bidder for our contracts. We'll select the contractor and have the contract signed by the close of business.

Monday, October 10
We'll hold our pre-construction meeting with the contractor and all working entities on the project to go over the work process and make sure everyone is familiar with key personnel.

Tuesday, October 11
The contractor will begin the repairs on this bridge. They'll be given about a month and a half to complete, and we're targeting the start of December as a "finish-by" date. Until the repairs are all done, the closure will remain. If this is part of your daily commute, you may wish to look for some alternate routes.