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Contractor named for new stretch of new SR 520
Flatiron West Inc. submitted the lowest bid of $199.5 million for the West Approach Bridge North Project of the SR 520 bridge replacement program. The bid was below WSDOT engineer’s estimate.
Construction will begin this fall, with the new West Approach Bridge North scheduled to open to drivers in 2017.
“The new SR 520 floating bridge will be the world’s longest floating bridge, but it actually ends more than a mile from shore,” said WSDOT SR 520 Program Administrator Julie Meredith. “The new approach bridge will serve as a vital connection between the new floating bridge and the commerce centers of Seattle.”
Unlike the new floating bridge, the West Approach Bridge North will be supported by solid columns fastened directly to the bottom of Lake Washington. The new approach bridge replaces a 51-year-old, hollow-column structure no longer suited to today’s traffic conditions and vulnerable to earthquakes, officials said. Just like the new floating bridge, the new westbound approach bridge will feature wider shoulders, a dedicated HOV lane and a path for walkers and cyclists.
In other bridge news, 60 of the new bridge’s 77 pontoons are now constructed, with the remainder scheduled for completion by early 2015.
The Eastside Transit and HOV Project is providing new highway lanes, transit stops and a regional bike-and-pedestrian path to the Eastside. WSDOT will continue to open these facilities as they are completed this summer, and the full project is scheduled for completion later this year.
This fall will see completion of the new West Connection Bridge, and the new SR 520 floating bridge is expected to open to drivers in spring 2016.
WSDOT is working with the city of Seattle and other stakeholders on designs for further SR 520 improvements which are currently unfunded. These include construction of a six-lane segment of SR 520 from Montlake to I-5, a new Portage Bay Bridge, two highway-overpass lids in Seattle, and a new west approach bridge for eastbound traffic. The plans will be presented to the 2015 Legislature.