PORTLAND, Ore. – Fifteen people filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Transportation, alleging the department was negligent in its efforts to repair the ramp from northbound Interstate 5 to Highway 217.
The group, which seeks more than $2 million in damages, is also suing the construction company, Kiewit Corporation, for negligence.
The flyover ramp has been the site of more than a dozen crashes in the last two years. Since the ramp was completed in 2001, an expansion joint with steel connectors slowly began separating and created an uneven surface.
ODOT previously said the separation was a problem, but it was not the cause of the crashes. ODOT claimed many drivers were going too fast on the flyover, especially in wet weather. In May of 2014, ODOT lowered the speed limit on the flyover to 35 mph and said drivers would be safe at that speed.
The lawsuit claims ODOT knew about the problems with the ramp's expansion joints and tried to repair them, but did not ultimately fix the problem.
KGW reached out to ODOT for a statement, but the department declined to comment citing the ongoing legal case.
Kiewit released the following statement:
Kiewit completed this project in 2001 and a thorough inspection confirmed that all contract requirements were met. We are reviewing the complaint, but cannot further discuss this pending legal issue.