The Evolution of Seattle's 520 Bridge

Big changes are under way on the 520 bridge, the longest floating bridge on Earth.
FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Just when you thought cross-lake commuting couldn’t get any more fun, tolling on the S.R. 520 bridge went into effect. Now, crossing the floating bridge can set you back as much as $5 one way, depending on the time of day and whether you have a prepaid “Good to Go!” pass affixed to your windshield.

Tolls collected will pay for construction of the new six-lane 520 bridge under way right now; currently, 33 enormous concrete pontoons are being built in Aberdeen to be floated here. The bridge should be finished in 2014; tolling is expected to continue at least until the 30- and 40-year bonds are paid off—in 2056. To save money on tolls, ride the bus, share the ride (RideshareOnline.com), or check out a pair of new apps: TollAvoider.com and 520or90.com.

 

The bridge as it exists today, with four general-purpose lanes

 

 

The updated bridge, with four general-purpose lanes, two carpool lanes and a pedestrian and bike path

 

 

The new 520 can be retrofitted with additional pontoons to bear the weight of light rail at a future date

 

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