Local Information

SR 520 construction breaks ground with Seattle ramp demolition

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 11:00

Ian Sterling, WSDOT communications, 206-819-7230
Suanne Pelley, WSDOT communications, 206-437-5717

Gov. Inslee joined by federal, state and local officials to celebrate launch

SEATTLE – Gov. Jay Inslee gathered today with federal, state and local officials on the never-completed R.H. Thomson Expressway “Ramps to Nowhere” in Seattle to kick off construction of the State Route 520 West Approach Bridge North Project.

The first construction activities include demolition of the abandoned ramps in the Washington Park Arboretum, and construction of a work platform that crews will use to build the new approach.

“This new structure is the vital connection between the new SR 520 floating bridge and Seattle,” Governor Inslee said. “The project ensures that our growing populations and economic hubs on both sides of Lake Washington will retain a critical transportation link for decades to come.”

West Approach Bridge North
The new, 1.2-mile-long approach is nearly as long as the new floating bridge. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the new West Approach Bridge North will carry three westbound lanes of traffic from the new floating bridge to Montlake, and connect the new bicycle-pedestrian path from the floating bridge into Seattle. More project information is available in this video.
“This roadway is a key piece of our state’s transportation infrastructure, a route that connects our region together,” said Washington State Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson. “Building this half of the new west approach is an integral piece of the effort to replace outdated structures in the corridor that are vulnerable to earthquakes and windstorms, and takes us one step closer to completing the corridor.”

More work ahead
“We’re taking an important step today, but it’s just one more step in the march to help commuters spend less time in traffic and more time enjoying the quality of life that Washington has to offer,” Inslee noted. "Together, we'll work with the Legislature and our partners to finish what we started and complete a new, safer, more efficient SR 520 all the way to I-5.”

Today’s groundbreaking included Gov. Inslee, Congressman Jim McDermott, state Rep. Judy Clibborn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Secretary Peterson, and project contractor Flatiron West, Inc. Also present were regional business leaders, and representatives of the University of Washington, the Washington Park Arboretum, and the Federal Highway Administration.

The start of SR 520 construction in Seattle is just one of many milestones for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program.

The Eastside Transit and HOV Project is scheduled for completion later this year. It includes new median transit stops, a regional bike and pedestrian trail, and new HOV lanes.

The new floating bridge is scheduled to open to drivers in spring 2016. Sixty-six of the 77 massive pontoons that make up the backbone of the new bridge are now constructed, with the rest slated for completion by next spring.

For information on road closures associated with SR 520 construction, please visit the SR 520 Orange Page and follow us on Twitter: @wsdot_520.

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