Local Information

New SR 520 floating bridge now open to westbound traffic

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:52

Steve Peer, WSDOT communications, 425-301-2023

Morning commute is first for world’s longest floating bridge

SEATTLE – It’s official: The world’s longest floating bridge is now open to drivers crossing Lake Washington from the Eastside to Seattle.

At 3:50 a.m. today, the Washington State Department of Transportation opened the westbound lanes of the new State Route 520 floating bridge, marking a major milestone following more than a decade of planning and five years of construction.

The first vehicles to cross were a pair of WSDOT Incident Response Team trucks ahead of Monday morning’s commute. Their trek across the new floating structure was captured by a camera mounted on one of the WSDOT trucks and marks the opening of a bridge built to serve the region for the next 75 years.

Eastbound SR 520 travelers will remain on the original floating bridge for another two weeks until Friday night, April 22, when crews will close both bridges to transition traffic to the eastbound lanes. The new lanes will open to travelers for the morning commute on Monday, April 25.

Built as part of the SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings Project, the new bridge is the longest floating bridge in the world, beating the original SR 520 floating bridge built in the early 1960s by 130 feet. Built to today’s standards with wider shoulders, two general-purpose lanes and an HOV lane in each direction, the new floating bridge includes 77 pontoons secured to the bottom of the lake with 58 heavy-duty anchors. The new bridge is nearly double the width of the original bridge and includes a 14-foot, shared-use path for non-motorized travelers.

For up-to-date information on highway closures and construction activity associated with SR 520, please visit the SR 520 Orange Page or follow the project on Twitter.

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