From: “Phipps, Greg” WSDOT Communications
Date: October 16, 2009 10:20:48 AM PDT
Subject: SR 99 Aurora Bridge Fence project update
Hello Fremont Neighborhood Council
I am writing to update you on plans for constructing the SR 99 Aurora Bridge Fence project, and to ask if we can brief the council at an upcoming meeting. Last month we selected
a contractor to install the fence. They will present their construction plan to WSDOT at a meeting next Thursday. Right now, we don’t have many specifics about what you can expect once construction begins. Here’s what we do know:
Based on early conversations with the contractor we expect that preliminary construction will start in early November. The preliminary construction involves verifying the location of rebar in the bridge deck and then drilling holes in the deck at locations where the fence will be bolted. Once this preliminary work is complete and approved by our bridge engineers, the contractor can submit their order to the fence manufacturer. We expect that it will take several months to manufacture the fence. Our best guess is that fence installation will start in spring 2010 and be complete in the fall. We will know more details after next Thursday’s meeting.
Our contract allows double lane closures in one direction overnight and single lane closures during the day between the morning and afternoon commute. The number of lanes closed is based on traffic volumes. We can close more lanes at night because there’s less traffic. However, we are getting an inkling from the contractor that they may be able to install the fence with fewer lane closures than are allowed in the contract. We should also know more about this after our meeting with the contractor.
We have some good news on the project budget. We now expect to complete the project for $4.6 million, a little more than half of our earlier estimate of $8.1 million. The main construction cost savings are reduced material prices, a more competitive bidding climate, and the removal of lighting from the project scope. We awarded the construction contract to Massana Construction Inc. of Gig Harbor, who submitted the low bid of $2.9 million. We also ended up spending about $500,000 less than we anticipated during the project design phase.
Construction noise is an uncertain factor right now. We know the work will be noisy, especially the drilling I mentioned earlier. If the contractor can work during the day, the noise won’t have as much of an effect on those near the bridge as it would have at night when people are trying to sleep. We have noise variances from the city of Seattle for night work and will notify bridge neighbors before it begins, and will take all reasonable steps to minimize noise. Again, we will know more about the extent of night work after next Thursday’s meeting.
Once we learn more of the details of the construction plan, we will send an e-mail to you and other project stakeholders. The e-mail will include a new project folio as an attachment. We plan to conduct door-to-door outreach to businesses and residences on both sides of the bridge and to meet with community groups such as yours. We will also distribute updated construction information using a variety of tools to ensure broad awareness of the project as it proceeds toward construction.
We would love to talk to the council about the project at an upcoming meeting. Please contact me to schedule a briefing.