August 22, 1997 in City

Bulletproof Vests Offered Paving Crews

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

Bulletproof vests have been made available to state crews repaving a stretch of Interstate 405 after shots were fired in the vicinity of highway crews last week.

No one was hurt by the gunfire, which occurred three times in three days during the week before the freeway section was closed for the July 16-17 weekend so that workers could repave the surface quickly and less expensively.

Southbound lanes of I-405 were closed Friday night through Monday morning from Bellevue south to Renton. This weekend, northbound lanes in the same area will be closed.

The freeway, which is the main north-south route through the rapidly growing suburban cities east of Seattle, carries 100,000 cars a day.

Bill Southern of the state Department of Transportation said the shots did damage the windshield of one vehicle.

“The employees did ask for (bulletproof vests), we provided them and it’s strictly up to them whether to wear them or not,” Southern said.

The gunfire occurred during the time when news media were notifying the public of the upcoming closure.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating.


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