Updated: January 2016
Construction of the new SR 520 floating bridge continues on Lake Washington, where crews are assembling the new structure.
Lane and Ramp Closures
Traffic will switch from the old SR 520 floating bridge to the new bridge during two separate weekends this spring. Exact dates will be confirmed closer to the opening. The switch will require two full closures of the old and new SR 520 bridges over two weekends before all traffic begins traveling on the new bridge.
Visit the SR 520 Orange Page for specific dates and times.
Click the image above for a larger, printable graphic (pdf 5 mb) showing how traffic will flow during the switch from the old floating bridge to the new floating bridge.
Floating bridge crews reached several major milestones in 2015. In July, all of the pontoons were placed in their final locations on Lake Washington. In August, crews placed the last of 776 roadway deck sections, which form the bridge’s low-rise driving surface. In October, the last high-rise deck was poured, completing the driving surface from Medina to the new West Connection Bridge in Seattle.
Pontoons on the lake are currently being outfitted various equipment including hand rails, swimmer cables, ladders, anchor cables, and pontoon signs.
The contractor continues to work on electrical wiring throughout the structure, which will power lights, sensors, active traffic signage and other equipment on the bridge.
Crews are also completing work on various architectural elements along the bridge’s bicycle and pedestrian path, including installing curbs, hand rails and belvederes. The transitions from the fixed bridge to the floating bridge structure will also feature sentinels that mark the ends of the world's longest floating bridge. These sentinels are being installed now.
Another feature of the new bridge is roadway stormwater drainage systems, for which crews are currently installing drainage pipes along the length of the bridge. There are also fire protection systems going into place.
The new bridge will open to traffic in spring 2016. Count down to the bridge opening and follow the next steps in construction with our Commissioning Graphic .
Construction activities and project barges periodically block the navigation channels. These obstructions may alter boater access through the navigation channels. Find more information about boating near the SR 520 floating bridge on our boater information page .
Crews have begun the final steps in Medina to make the bridge traffic-ready, including beginning roadway paving work under the Evergreen Point Road lid.
The new bridge maintenance facility, located on the shoreline beneath the bridge’s east high-rise, is currently being outfitted with utilities, lights, dock fixtures and a freight elevator.
On the east approach to the bridge, crews are constructing noise walls which will reduce traffic noise near the shoreline.
Joining of longitudinal pontoons is now complete and pontoons block the center drawspan of the existing bridge. Boaters can continue to use the east navigation channel for access around the floating bridge. Find more information about boating near the SR 520 floating bridge construction site on our boater information page .
In late November 2015, crews began grinding the roadway deck on the new floating bridge at the west end in Seattle. This work is expected to last through mid-January, and creates the Next Generation Concrete Surface that is part of the noise mitigation measures on the new bridge.
Casting of the concrete deck sections began in March 2014 and was completed in August 2015. A total of 776 sections were built. These sections form the roadway for the new floating bridge. For more information about the work done in Kenmore, visit our project page .
Construction of the 44 supplemental stability pontoons built in Tacoma was completed in December 2014. At this time, no other SR 520 construction activities are planned in Tacoma. Check out photos of construction in Tacoma on our Flickr page .
On March 10, 2015, crews floated the sixth and final cycle of pontoons from the casting facility in Aberdeen. The last three pontoons arrived on Lake Washington on April 9, 2015.
You can find more information on the Pontoon Construction Project section of the program website and watch videos of the float-out process on our YouTube page.