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SR 520 - News and Updates

April 21, 2017 | WABN Construction Update

Learn about upcoming construction activities and project updates in the latest SR 520 West Approach Bridge North Project Construction Update. 

April 21, 2017 | SR 520 News of the Week 

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Seattle’s Pothole Palooza

Can you feel it? Spring is working so hard to break through what’s been a long, cold, rainy winter. Our roads are ready for the change of season too. In fact, our friends at the Seattle Department of Transportation are kicking spring off by concentrating their crews on pothole repairs throughout the city. And they are asking for help to identify as many potholes as possible!

Starting Monday, April 17, Pothole Rangers will move throughout the city mapping out and filling pothole after pothole. There are three different ways to report the holey spots in your neighborhood:

Attention local neighbors: If you suspect a pothole is associated with the current construction of the SR 520 West Approach Bridge North project, you may report it directly to us via email or our 24-hour hotline at 206-708-4657.

West Approach Bridge North progress update: Crews complete final section of roadway deck

Earlier this week, crews completed the 41st and final section of the new West Approach Bridge North roadway deck. This milestone comes a little over a year after the grand opening of the new SR 520 floating bridge and creates continuous new pavement from shore to shore across Lake Washington. In the next few months, the Montlake area will start to look different as the new structure transforms from a construction site to an active roadway. 

One of the next steps is to complete the WABN landing, as shown in the picture below. This is where the new approach bridge will connect to two new westbound SR 520 off-ramps that will travel through the old MOHAI site. Crews will also finish building concrete barriers for pedestrians and traffic, as well as installing electrical, fire protection and other utility connections.

The next few months will be busy for the WABN crews with new westbound off-ramps to Lake Washington Boulevard and Montlake Boulevard opening this summer, followed by the opening of the new bridge’s two general-purpose lanes and HOV lane in late summer.

Later this year, bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to cross the much-anticipated SR 520 trail from the Eastside to Seattle!

Stay tuned for more information as we confirm the bridge-opening dates.

WABN connecting into MOHAI
For the first time since the West Approach Bridge North project began in 2014, crews connect bridge and land after placing concrete Monday for the last segment of the bridge’s roadway deck. Just west of the new concrete is a graded section of land where the old Museum of History and Industry used to be, in Montlake.

Rain taking a toll? Let me float this idea to you…

Are you the punniest? Brighten up your spring by participating in the SR 520 pun competition to celebrate the first birthday of the new SR 520 floating bridge!

Send your SR 520 puns to with the subject line “Pun competition” or tweet them at @wsdot_520. The best puns will be featured on our Twitter on April 25, the first day the floating bridge was open to both east and westbound traffic.

Two bridges enter, one bridge leaves
Decommissioning of old SR 520 floating bridge comes to a close

Before (September 2015)

After (February 2017)

After nearly 54 years on Lake Washington, the old SR 520 floating bridge has finally moved on to new waters. Under a two-tug escort, the final pontoon from the old bridge floated off the lake and through the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks on Jan. 14, marking a key milestone in the decommissioning process. In the weeks that followed, crews completed all remaining items on their bridge-removal checklist, such as removing sections of concrete roadway and fixed columns – above and below the lake’s surface – from a segment of the old west approach bridge. In early March, crews officially declared that only one SR 520 bridge now floats on the lake.

Over the past year, contractor Kiewit/General/Manson, A Joint Venture (KGM) dismantled the old floating bridge piece by piece, with an eye on reusing materials for future transportation and maritime projects. You can learn more about the decommissioning process and how most bridge materials are reused on the decommissioning portion of our website.

Although completing the decommissioning process is a big step for the SR 520 Program, our work is not done yet. KGM is now wrapping up construction of a viewpoint trail and landscaping work in Medina, work which is anticipated to last through the spring. On the other side of the lake, West Approach Bridge North construction is rolling right along, with a planned opening of the new structure this summer. Simultaneously, we are ramping up to start phased construction of the “Rest of the West,” building out a better SR 520 all the way to I-5.