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.
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.