An Oregon subcontractor connected to Monday’s deadly overpass accident in Bonney Lake committed a violation that led to the collapse of a portion of the old Sauvie Island Bridge near Portland.
An investigation into the 2008 incident revealed the company, Staton Cos. of Eugene, deviated from its demolition plan.
Bonney Lake officials are reviewing whether that company followed approved construction plans for the local project.
Work was underway on the project Monday when a concrete slab fell from the overpass on state Route 410, crushing a pickup truck and killing a family of three.
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Bonney Lake is reviewing the demolition plan for the project, Mayor Neil Johnson said in a statement Wednesday.
“The contract expressly requires the contractor to protect traffic from falling concrete and debris while demolition is being performed,” Johnson said. “We are still looking into whether the demolition plan was followed.”
The contractor’s schedule did not indicate that bridge demolition would be occurring Monday, when a concrete wall fell from the overpass and crushed a pickup driving on Angeline Road East below.
Bonney Lake residents Josh Ellis, 25, and Vanessa Ellis, 29, were killed along with their 8-month-old son, Hudson.
Staton Cos. was cited in 2009 concerning the collapse of part of the old Sauvie Island Bridge, according to records from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division.
Documents obtained by The News Tribune state that during demolition in August 2008, no engineering survey was done on the bridge’s two northern spans, and one of them collapsed onto the closed road below.
The collapse happened while an excavator operator was performing work. The worker was not hurt.
The state’s investigation into the incident noted that “Staton went outside the (demolition) plan, which caused the collapse.”
State regulators fined the company $275, records show.
In Washington state, Staton Cos. was cited in 2012 for three issues defined as serious safety violations by the Department of Labor and Industries, which oversees workplace safety in the state.
State regulators fined the company $200 for the violations, which were corrected immediately, according to L&I.
Staton Cos. could not be reached after hours Wednesday for comment on the 2008 incident. A representative declined Tuesday to discuss the company’s other safety violations, except to say “all citations were resolved immediately.”
On the Bonney Lake project, Staton Cos. was in charge of removing the concrete barrier to make room for a sidewalk expansion, City Clerk Woody Edvalson, acting as city spokesman, has said.
Work was beginning on the project when the piece of concrete fell, he said. Specific details about the nature of the work performed Monday remain unclear.
The city hired contractor WHH Nisqually of Tacoma to complete the nearly $1.8 million project, which was meant to improve safety of pedestrians and motorists along the highway.
Johnson wrote that work on the project has been suspended while authorities investigate and the community mourns.
The demolition plan called for disassembling pieces of concrete and removing them with hydraulic excavators, he said in the statement.
Edvalson said 15 contractors or subcontractors have worked on the project, details of which were reviewed and approved by the city and the state.
WHH Nisqually submitted the demolition plan to the city in February, Edvalson said. Documents included in the plan list two subcontractors, Staton Cos. and Highmark Concrete Contractors of Buckley.
Bonney Lake officials could not provide details Wednesday regarding safety procedures related to traffic control on Angeline Road.
Edvalson said WHH Nisqually was responsible for coordinating lane closures and flaggers, and the city couldn’t speak for the contractor. Bob Iyall, the company’s chairman and CEO, told The News Tribune he couldn’t comment.
State Transportation Department spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker said earlier this week that she was unable to find an industry standard for closing lanes under bridge work, but traffic control plans usually are outlined in contracts for construction work.
Only one of hundreds of documents included in the project’s construction plans refer to the road where the Ellis family was driving.
In a section titled “Public Convenience and Safety,” the document states: “There are no single-lane restrictions for Angeline Road.”