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SR 520 - Floating Bridge and Landings Project: What's Happening Now?

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Updated: June 2016

The new SR 520 floating bridge is open to traffic in both directions and decommissioning activities to remove the old bridge from Lake Washington are underway.

Current work

Past work

 

Light from new bridge

In early April, we heard from several project neighbors regarding lights that can be seen on the north side of the new SR 520 floating bridge. Based on initial comments, we turned all nonessential lighting off until we could conduct tests on the new lighting.

On Tuesday May 3, and Wednesday May 4, WSDOT experts conducted tests and took measurements of the lighting along the new floating bridge, both on the bike/pedestrian path and from Lake Washington. Please see our May 2 notification (pdf 296 kb) for more information about these tests.

The team is currently analyzing the data gathered on May 3 and 4. For more information about the lights that will be visible from the north side of the bridge, see our brief lighting overview. We expect to have more information in the coming weeks.

If you have questions or comments concerning lighting on the new bridge, please contact us at SR520Bridge@wsdot.wa.gov.

  
Noise from new bridge

Shortly after the new SR 520 floating bridge opened to westbound traffic in April, WSDOT began receiving concerns from Medina residents regarding sounds coming from the new bridge. At that time we began conducting an investigation that includes collecting sound measurements on both the old and new floating bridges.

We have also heard from some Seattle residents on this topic. As you know, the west end of the new bridge is still in an interim configuration as WSDOT and our contractors work to complete the west approach bridges between Montlake Boulevard and the new floating bridge.

Below you will find our latest updates regarding this topic, including sound measurement readings:

We are keeping track of those who notify us about sounds from the new bridge and will include everyone in future updates. If you have questions or comments concerning this noise question, please contact us at SR520Bridge@wsdot.wa.gov and include ccmail@medina-wa.gov on your email.

Lane and Ramp Closures

Decommissioning activities to remove the old floating bridge from Lake Washington are underway and will continue through the end of 2016. During this time, drivers and transit riders can expect intermittent lane closures. Visit the SR 520 Orange Page for closure information.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Path

In the coming weeks, the bicycle and pedestrian path on the new floating bridge will open as an out-and-back path from the Eastside. Please note that there will be no access to the floating bridge from the Seattle side until 2017. Visit the Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections page for more information regarding the phased opening of the path connecting Seattle and the Eastside.

Lake Washington

Decommissioning activities by Kiewit/General/Manson, A Joint Venture (KGM) to remove the old SR 520 floating bridge from Lake Washington are underway and will continue through the end of 2016.

The pontoons from the old bridge have been sold and will be removed from Lake Washington through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard. The majority of the remaining bridge materials will be dismantled onsite and hauled to concrete recycling facilities, where most of the materials will be processed for reuse as dry aggregate for other paving projects.

All Lake Washington decommissioning work activities will occur within the project limits of construction (within approximately 1,000 feet of the new bridge.) Activities include:

  • Removing the old bridge roadway deck is complete.
  • Removing the east and west transition spans (June 2016) and pier columns (through October 2016.)
  • De-tensioning and separating old pontoons (through November 2016.)
  • Utilizing the east side staging area near Medina to dismantle old bridge materials including concrete and roadway barriers (through July 2016.)
  • Moving decommissioned pontoons from the east side staging area to the west side staging area near Seattle prior to final removal from Lake Washington via the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard (June through December 2016.)
  • Removing old anchor cables (through December 2016.)

Decommissioning plans for the old SR 520 floating bridge
Click the image above for a decommissioning folio (pdf 392 kb) showing a timeline of bridge decommissioning activities.

During these decommissioning activities, neighbors can expect to see: barges, cranes, excavation equipment, loaders, trucks and protective screening above work barges. Nearby residents can also expect to hear a loud, consistent noise similar to an industrial fan and the cutting and dismantling of materials. KGM will utilize best management practices throughout the decommissioning process.

Below is information about decommissioning activities in specific communities. In addition, you can learn more about our bridge-removal work in this decommissioning folio and in a June 9 presentation to local mayors. You also can read the project's many environmental reports and permits

Medina

Decommissioning activities on the east approach of the existing bridge are underway and will continue through the end of 2016.

Decommissioning work activities on land in Medina include:

  • Removing the old east approach and transition span including roadway deck and pier columns.
  • Utilizing the east side staging area north of the new floating bridge near the Medina shoreline to dismantle old bridge materials including concrete and roadway barriers.
  • Utilizing approved truck haul routes through Medina, Clyde Hill, and Bellevue.

Additional decommissioning information was included in the April 14 notification sent to Medina neighbors and in materials from the April 21 public information session.

During these decommissioning activities, neighbors can expect to see: barges, cranes, excavation equipment, loaders, trucks and protective screening above work barges. Nearby residents can also expect to hear a loud, consistent noise similar to an industrial fan and the cutting and dismantling of materials. KGM will utilize best management practices throughout the decommissioning process.

In addition to decommissioning activities, crews are working to:

  • Complete noise walls south of the new bridge.
  • Prepare for construction of the new viewpoint trail south of the new bridge.
  • Prepare for landscaping installation and shoreline restoration activities.


Seattle

Decommissioning activities on the west approach of the existing bridge are underway and will continue through the end of 2016.

Seattle decommissioning work activities include:

  • Removing the old west approach and transition span including roadway deck and pier columns.
  • Utilizing the west side staging area north of the new floating bridge south of Laurelhurst in Seattle to stage decommissioned pontoons prior to final removal from Lake Washington via the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard.

Additional decommissioning information was included in the April 18 notification sent to Seattle neighbors.

During these decommissioning activities, neighbors can expect to see: barges, cranes, excavation equipment, loaders, trucks and protective screening above work barges. Nearby residents can also expect to hear a loud, consistent noise similar to an industrial fan and the cutting and dismantling of materials. KGM will utilize best management practices throughout the decommissioning process.


Kenmore

Through December 2016, KGM will continue to use the Kenmore site for hauling of materials. This work will only happen during daytime hours.

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 completed in Kenmore, visit our project page

Tacoma

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.

Aberdeen

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.