Wired: Tech gadgets on new 520 Bridge include water sensors, ‘red phone’ alerts, Vegas lights

Image: WSDOT

Image: WSDOT

Wired.com has posted a review of the high-tech gadgetry on the new 520 floating bridge, shedding light on how crews will monitor safety systems, respond to emergencies and keep people moving across the lake. A maintenance facility at the east end will serve as central command, staffed with 8-10 engineers available at all hours of the day.

Features of the new bridge include:

  • Fire hydrants supplied with water pumped from the lake
  • Roadway sensors alerting crews of sandy or icy conditions
  • A high-efficiency street sweeper to collect debris before entering the storm water system
  • A mid-bridge weather station to track wind storms
  • Concrete cooling tubes embedded in the pontoons to reduce heat and control cracking (oops!), and electrified rebar to reduce corrosion
  • Moisture sensors in each pontoon cell to alert crews of rising water (3″ triggers an alert)
  • Security systems, backup power, computer servers and a ‘red phone‘ that will alert crews with news of trouble
  • Improved lighting” — including LEDs that will illuminate the sentinel towers at each bridge end with a multi-colored display of Las Vegas style lights.
Image: WSDOT

Image: WSDOT

Construction on the new floating bridge and West Approach Bridge North is expected to wrap up in 2016, providing 6-lanes across Lake Washington including 2 lanes for HOV.

One thought on “Wired: Tech gadgets on new 520 Bridge include water sensors, ‘red phone’ alerts, Vegas lights

  1. Safety is very important. But who is spending all this money. 8 -10 engineers 24/7 and fancy time everything else floating on leaking pontoons. And taking a big chunk out of the neighborhood which will be disrupted for years. Doesn’t make me happy. Not a sales job is it?

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