Sunday/ stopping on the floating bridge

I decided to take a Sunday afternoon drive today to the ‘east side’: the east side of Lake Washington, that is.  That is where the cities of Bellevue and Redmond, the home of Microsoft, are.  My timing was bad – or good – depending how one looks at it. As I approached the bridge, a warning sign said to prepare to stop.  The bridge had closed for some 30 mins due to allow for a draw span opening to let through sailboats and other vessels.  It’s the first time I actually stopped on the bridge – and it is definitely floating. While sitting in the car, one feels the small shifts that the pontoon underneath the road surface makes as it floats on the water.

Meanwhile, right next to the bridge to its north, a massive construction project is on-going. Two cantilevered piers have been completed on the east side, and there is one more to go.   This is to connect a new, replacement floating bridge, to the shore.  The new bridge will accommodate road traffic as well as a light rail line.

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There was a drawspan opening on the State Route 520 floating bridge when I tried to cross it this afternoon. So we switched off our engines, and took a look at Lake Washington while we were waiting. Mt Rainier is visible in the distance on the horizon on the far right.
SR 520 bridge
And here is a diagram from Washington State Dept of Transportation (say ‘Wash Dot’) that shows the plans for constructing a new floating bridge made of pontoons that will eventually replace the existing one.

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