Tacoma fire fighters responded Friday afternoon to reports that a section of the Nalley Valley Viaduct under construction near State Route 16 and Interstate 5 collapsed onto South Tacoma Way. According to Tacoma Fire officials, South Tacoma Way was closed between M Street and Pine Street at approximately 3:30 p.m., and the underground water main, and power and gas lines are affected. There were no injuries reported. More information will be posted as more information becomes available.
*****UPDATE Fri., Jan. 11 @ 4:08 P.M. — Tacoma Public Utilities reports the following:
A piece of the old SR-16 overpass fell today at about 2 p.m. The piece of concrete punched through South Tacoma Way near Sprague Avenue and punctured a Tacoma Water main. People who live and work in the area between South M and Pine streets and South 56th and Center streets should not drink their water if it looks dirty, and should call (253) 502-8384 to report it. Several businesses in the area do not have water service. Tacoma Water will continue to assess the damage and fix the main as soon as possible, but must wait for removal of the portion of SR-16 and repair of other damage. Photos of the scene are online here.
*****UPDATE Fri., Jan. 11 @ 4:15 p.m. — The Washington State Department of Transportation reports the following:
A section of a concrete pillar known as a tetrapod fell on the shoulder of South Tacoma Way during demolition activities on the I-5/SR 16 Eastbound Nalley Valley project around 2 p.m. today. A safety buffer was in place, per standard practice, at the time and traffic was safely rerouted around the construction zone. No one was injured. The fallen tetrapod — one of many that held up the old SR 16 Eastbound Nalley Valley Bridge — ruptured a water line, and a gas line is suspected to be compromised. Utility and emergency responders are on the scene to ensure safety. The Washington State Department of Transportation and contractor Mowat Construction have stopped demolition activities pending a thorough review of the demolition operation.
*****UPDATE Fri., Jan. 11 @ 4:52 p.m. — The Tacoma Fire Department reports the following:
At 1:48 p.m. Tacoma Firefighters responded to a reported construction accident on the State Route 16 construction project. Crews arrived to find a large section of the old overpass had fallen on South Tacoma Way during the demolition process. The debris damaged underground utilities including a water main, and natural gas line. South Tacoma Way remains closed until the piece can be removed, and utility repairs completed. There were no injuries to report.
*****UPDATE Fri., Jan. 11 @ 5:18 p.m. — The City of Tacoma reports the following:
South Tacoma Way has been closed from Pine to Wilkeson. Earlier this afternoon, a portion of a concrete pillar fell during a demolition activity as part of WSDOT’s I-5/SR 16 Eastbound Nalley Valley. The closure will be in effect through the weekend and will open no later than Monday morning, Jan. 14. Motorists are advised to follow the posted detour routes around the construction zone. The City reminds motorists to slow down in work zones and avoid distractions to keep yourself and the crews safe.
*****UPDATE Sun., Jan. 13 @ 9:25 p.m. — The Washington State Department of Transportation reports the following:
Paving crews expect to open all lanes of South Tacoma Way in time for Monday morning’s commute, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The road was closed Friday afternoon between Pine and Wilkeson streets after a piece of the original eastbound viaduct, which was in the process of being demolished, fell on the roadway shoulder. A safety buffer had been in place at the time and no injuries were reported. Gas and water service was, however, disrupted. Over the weekend, crews cleared the roadway shoulder of all debris and utility crews worked to restore gas and water service to nearby businesses. Crews are now repaving the damaged shoulder and the adjacent lane, and expect to complete the work later tonight. WSDOT and contractor Mowat Construction have stopped demolition activities pending a thorough review of the demolition operation.