Saturday/ SR 520 floating bridge opening

IMG_3673 smThe new SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings project has been underway since early 2012, and parts of it is really for final commissioning and use by the general public.   Bryan, Gary and I went to the official opening of the new State Route 520 Floating Bridge today.  The new bridge has been built alongside the old (which will be dismantled and recycled).  The final work on the ‘approaches’ to the bridge (the on-ramps and off-ramps) will continue, but vehicles (and pedestrians and cyclists) will be able to start to use the new bridge just a little later in April.  The west-bound lanes will open first, with the east-bound lanes to follow two weeks later.

New SR520 bridge
This picture (from the Washington Dept of Transport website) shows how much bigger the new bridge is, compared to the old. The surface of the new bridge is 20′ above the water surface of Lake Washington, whereas that of the old bridge is only 6′ above the water. (So that water in very stormy weather does not slosh over the road surface). The right-side lanes going to the top of picture, are the westbound ones.
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We just got off the shuttle bus that took us from the University of Washington Stadium station to the SR 520 bridge.
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This is the pedestrian and bicycle lane on the bridge.
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This viewpoint provides a glimpse of the giant pontoons on which the bridge is ‘floating’. There is a total of 77 pontoons : 21 longitudinal, 54 supplemental and 2 cross pontoons.
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Longitudinal pontoons are labeled alphabetically from west to east. There is a total of 77 pontoons : 21 longitudinal, 54 supplemental and 2 cross pontoons.
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I couldn’t resist a picture in front of the big W close to the train station by the bridge. (The W stands for Washington as in Washington University .. and for Willem, of course).

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