A rundown of what’s happening in the world of 520:
- Weekend closure: 520 will close this Friday, February 1st at 11pm until 5am Sunday morning, allowing crews to reconfigure electronic monitoring and signage systems. As usual, the highway will close from Montlake Blvd to I-405, so plan extra time to cross the lake via your alternate route of choice.
- ‘Lake to Land’ open house: What’s the so-called ‘Lake to Land’ plan? It’s the northern half of the West Approach Bridge that will connect the new floating bridge to Montlake Blvd by the end of 2016. WSDOT will present drawings of the bridge’s superstructure, regional trail and belvedere viewing platforms. This 3-lane (half) bridge is currently the only funded part of the 520 replacement in Seattle and will be used along with the existing west approach — restriped for 3-lanes — until more funding is secured. How the new floating bridge will connect to both the new and old approaches remains to be seen. WSDOT Open house — Wednesday, February 6 — 4:30-7:30pm — St Demetrios Church.
- Tolling I-90 open house: Speaking of funding, the state is exploring tolls on the I-90 floating bridge, which would go a long way toward closing 520’s $1.4 billion gap. WSDOT has a public open house for “scoping” I-90 tolls this Thursday, January 31st, 4-7pm, at the Yesler Community Center. Formal public comments can be submitted here until February 22nd (to be followed by another comment period this fall).
- More pontoons on the way: The Tacoma News Tribune reports on the second round float-out of six more supplemental pontoons for the new floating bridge. These are the little ones, 100 feet long x 60 feet wide x 28 feet tall. Two of these new pontoons will be towed to Lake Washington this week, while the other four wait in Commencement Bay for more longitudinal pontoons to arrive from Aberdeen.