Which candidates for Seattle Mayor would support an effort to learn how the West Seattle Bridge failed?
Westside Seattle reached out to the leading contenders in the Seattle Mayor's race and posed the following question:
"In the last online meeting regarding the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT’s Heather Marx explained that the reason the West Seattle Bridge failed was "The problem was an imperfect understanding of how much post tensioning the bridge needed.” AND "The bridge was built, according to the standards of the day. At that time there was less knowledge in the engineering community about some of the properties of concrete and a phenomenon that's called creep."
Which means we are dealing with a 2 year closure, the loss of uncounted millions in lost time, gas, impacts on the rest of the community AND a $175 million bill.
With that explanation as our total understanding as to why.
Would you support a full forensic engineering study as to why the bridge failed?
Bruce Harrell responded and said:
"My short answer is “Yes” as I stated in a forum. Given the incredible inconvenience of this catastrophe, it is remarkable that the public has not been afforded an assurance that throughout this city we are not monitoring our major transportation projects in such a manner that builds trust with the public. “Stuff happens” is not acceptable and as the City conducts a thorough audit and evaluation of its major transportation structures, particular attention should be given to the West Seattle Bridge given its incredible effect on so many people. Every time I go to West Seattle, to be honest, I have a sense of frustration and I can only imagine what employees, employers and residents feel everyday. As a former technology attorney, we will open up the data; make sure the public has access to it; and make sure we have the best and the brightest completing this work, with a mind towards preventiveness in the future."
Lance Randall answered the question this way:
"A well-maintained and fully functioning transportation infrastructure is necessary for efficient and safe mobility in Seattle. This mobility includes automobiles, trucks for freight and delivery, public transit, light rail, bicycles, and walking pedestrians. In maintaining our transportation infrastructure, we must constantly monitor, evaluate and make investments into maintenance and improvements. In doing so, when an urgent project is manifested like that of the West Seattle Bridge, we must immediately make it the top priority to determine what caused the problem and provide a remedy as quick as possible.
Without question I support a full forensic engineering study of the West Seattle Bridge to determine why it failed. This study is important because it will give the residents and businesses in West Seattle an explanation of the engineering issues that caused the cracks, determine who is at fault and provide insight into the best solution to get the bridge functioning again.
My commitment as Mayor is to review the current plans and priorities for repairing and maintaining roads and bridges in Seattle and make the West Seattle Bridge the top priority.
I will not spend any money on any transportation experiments or vanity projects until the bridge is reopened safely. I will seek more funding from the federal, state and county governments for the project and solicit our corporate partners to help cover any funding shortfall. This project is important for the entire city and must have broad support.
I will personally provide accountable oversight of the Seattle Department of Transportation to ensure that the West Seattle Bridge repair project is effectively and efficiently managed to be structurally sound, safe, within budget and without any further delays. I will get the job done."
If other mayoral candidates would like to respond to this question we would ask that they submit their answer via email to WestSeattle@robinsonnews.com
Why were vehicles that exceeded the national weight limits and design parameters allowed to use bridge?