WSDOT: One employee fired, one demoted over 520 Bridge work

sr520SEATTLE — One Washington State Department of Transportation employee was fired and another was demoted over the design flaws that caused cracks in the first batch of new State Route 520 Bridge pontoons, department spokesman Lars Erickson confirmed Friday.

Erickson said he could not disclose who received the disciplinary letters because it’s a personnel matter.

The Seattle Times reported that Jugesh Kapur, head of the DOT’s Bridge and Structures office, confirmed in a phone interview with the newspaper Friday that he was the one fired.

The letters were issued April 5, Erickson said.

After a state investigation of the cracks in the new pontoons, the state said repairs and redesigns of the pontoons could cost taxpayers an extra tens of millions of dollars.

4 comments

  • Annd Ruand

    Jugesh was a scapegoat for mistakes and political pressure. i don't know him personally, but he was well respected throughout the agency. He had years of knowledge and his staff was decimated. His firing will be a great loss for the state. If you want someone to blame, blame Dave Dye, Paula Hammond's Chief of Staff. He was never respected or liked by anyone at the department and was said that he would sell his mom. That's what you get with media who's primary mission is "if it bleeds, it leads" and politicians running the shows and making engineering decisions. Sure, some of the managers could have stood up to the pressure, but they would have been kick out the door. We have overly high paid consultants working at the DOT telling the DOT what should be done but nobody investigates them or their conflict of interests. They get paid so much and keep telling us to hire more of them to watch themselves.

  • guest

    So only these 2 people shoulder all the responsibility for such a major decision and subsequent screw-up? Hard to believe. something doesn't smell right.

  • Mind View

    "Partnering" and the selection of the Secretary of Transportation by the Governor as opposed to the selection of the Secretary of Transportation solely by the Transportation Commission has been the downfall of the WSDOT. Sid Morrison was the last good Secretary of Transportation.

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