What Sank the Lacey Murrow?

by Donald O. Dusenberry, Vice Pres.; Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., 297 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02174-5310,
Charles R. Firth, Vice Pres.; Ben C. Gerwick, Inc., 601 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94111,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 11, Pg. 54-59

Document Type: Feature article


This month marks the third anniversary of the sinking of the Lacey V. Murrow Floating Bridge near Seattle, Wash., in the midst of a major rehabilitation project. Early on Nov. 25, 1990, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a pontoon near the center of the bridge (pontoon A5) began sinking. By the end of the day, seven more pontoons—each about 350 ft long, 59 ft wide, 14 ½ ft deep and weighing about 4900 tons—had followed pontoon A5 200 ft down to the bottom of Lake Washington. In this article, consultants hired to investigate by the contractor and the state offer their sides of the story.

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