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April 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM

UPDATE: Pioneer Square pergola damaged, again, when semi gets a bit too close

A truck stayed put in order to do no further damage after it hit the pergola in Pioneer Square Thursday evening. (Danny Gawlowski / The Seattle Times)on Thursday, April 12, 2012.

UPDATE | 4:51 p.m.   The Seattle parks department plans to install a sturdier post to protect the historic pergula after it was damaged again Thursday by a wayward truck.

Acting Parks director Dan Johnson said crews were beginning repairs on the damaged cast iron roof cornice on the southwest corner. The repairs, expected to take about three weeks, were being configured to minimize traffic disruption, he said.

Johnson, who was at the scene of the accident, said the semi-truck driver was unfamiliar with the tight turns of Pioneer Square and was following directions from his GPS when the accident occurred. It is unclear if the driver was cited.

The accident was similar to a 2001 accident which caused more severe damage; repairs ultimately cost $3.5 million. The engineer and contractor who performed that work inspected the pergola on Friday.

To avoid another repeat, the Parks department planned to install a structural post at the southwest corner which is anchored into a room below the pergola, Johnson said. The existing protective “bollard,” which was anchored into the sidewalk, sheered off in the accident.

“When a truck goes down there and decides to turn, particularly if its a long truck, there’s just no place to go,” said Johnson. “We need a barrier that is more substantial.

Costs of the repair were undetermined, but Johnson said the city planned to pursue an insurance claim against the truck driver.

 

UPDATE | 10:30 a.m. The Pioneer Square pergola was damaged last night and is closed for inspection after it was hit by a semi-truck.

The extent of the damage is unclear, but workers are removing damaged pieces of cast-iron sheathing, said Karen O’Connor, a Seattle Parks spokeswoman. A steel skeleton, added following a similar crash in 2001, is undamaged.

A lane around the pergola, at 1st and Yesler, will be closed until about 3 p.m.

The 1909 pergola, a National Historic Landmark, was rebuilt at a cost of $3.5 million following a January 2001 accident in which an inexperienced and lost U.S. Xpress Enterprises truck driver knocked the supporting posts from the glass and cast iron canopy.

The status of the driver and his truck wasn’t available.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter, Traffic & Transit | Topics: damage, pergola, Pioneer Square

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