TOPEKA (KSNT) – KDOT announced Thursday one of its bridge inspectors has resigned after pieces of the Polk-Quincy Viaduct fell from the bridge earlier on Saturday.
KDOT said it conducted an internal review of the bridge inspection process. During that review, KDOT discovered the inspection of the Polk-Quincy Viaduct on May 23, 2022, did not follow protocols, according to a press release.
This comes after a 60-foot barrier wall fell off the Polk-Quincy Viaduct into an empty parking lot on June 11. The falling wall was likely due to high temperatures and deterioration of the steel that connects the concrete barrier to the viaduct deck.
The department has asked the city of Topeka to close several more streets after safety concerns surrounding the railing on the Polk-Quincy Viaduct, according to KDOT.
According to the City of Topeka’s Director of Communications Gretchen Spiker, the Kansas Department of Transportation has requested the closure.
KDOT said the inspector saw warning signs that the bridge joint was expanding, but failed to notify the bridge inspection leader, which is required per the protocol.
The bridge inspector responsible for the error has resigned, according to the departmet.
There are 332 bridges in Kansas that are similar to the Polk-Quincy Viaduct. KDOT said an inspection of all the bridges is currently underway. The bridges that span traffic, 105 of them, will be inspected first.
KDOT said a national bridge expert will conduct a review of what happened with the Polk-Quincy Viaduct and make recommendations on how to strengthen protocols.
KDOT reported the I-70 bridge roadway maintains its structural integrity and is safe to drive on because the issue is with the concrete barrier wall. The closure of 2nd St. from just west of SW Van Buren St. to just east of S Kansas Ave. was made out of an abundance of caution for the safety of drivers and pedestrians near and under the viaduct.
Dump trucks have been placed on the viaduct to serve as a temporary barrier until a new concrete safety barrier can be installed. The barrier was installed on Tuesday, June 14.
📲 Download the KSNT 27 News to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for KSNT 27 News email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s Top Stories on KSNT.com for Topeka and Northeast Kansas.
The closures will begin immediately.