December 9, 2023
There's nothing worse than starting a repair and realizing the job is a lot more complicated. It happens to the Washington Department of Transportation too.

There’s nothing worse than starting a home repair and realizing the job is a lot more complicated than you thought. It happens to the Washington Department of Transportation too.
I remember tearing out some drywall for what I thought would be a simple repair. Once inside, the damage was much worse than I expected.
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That happened to WSDOT over the weekend on the Green River Bridge on the Maple Valley Highway between Black Diamond and Enumclaw.
“The crews got out there and discovered more wear and tear had occurred on the concrete supports from the bridge deck that holds these expansion joints in place,” WSDOT’s James Poling said.
Just like my home repair job, this job needed a lot more effort, and Poling said the workers needed additional supplies to get it done.
That’s when they found out they couldn’t get those extra supplies until Monday.  We’ve all been there too. We realize we need one more piece of wood or pipe for our job, and the store is closed.
That’s why a simple weekend closure of the Green River Bridge is now a week-long closure. WSDOT expects to have the lanes back open on Friday.
A manageable detour remains in place until the job is finished, but Poling knows this is giant pain for everyone in the area.
“No detour is convenient,” he said.
People who use this bridge regularly have experienced random closures recently to deal with the expansion joints, and even with a now week-long closure, this job should fix that.
“There were definitely ways to quick-patch this, but we’d be right back out in a year or two,” Poling said.
The work is weather-dependent, but the work zone is small enough that it can be tarped as the concrete cures. The temperature shouldn’t be an issue either.
Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.
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