Openings for Boats on the 520 Bridge

WSDOT has negotiated a better deal with the Coast Guard regarding bridge openings when boats with tall masts want pass. More hours in the exclusion zone and more notice. If you travel the bridge frequently you may want to sign up for WSDOTs text message alert service. When they know, you’ll know. This is a painful, but temporary experience until the construction is done, but it’ll be for more than one summer.

Here’s their press release on the ssue:

SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program

Drawspan rule adjustments help extend peak SR 520 bridge travel reliability; changes took effect July 5

After consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, we have adjusted the hours for drawspan openings on the SR 520 bridge. Openings will be prohibited during peak commute times of 6:30-10 a.m. (previously 6-9 a.m.) and 3-7 p.m. (previously 4-7 p.m.). Also, boaters will be required to provide two hours notice at all times before the drawspan will be opened, rather than just one hour during certain times of day.

WSDOT used traffic data and comments from the traveling public to request that the Coast Guard alter the hours and rules for drawspan openings. Drawspan openings are currently required for boats above 45 feet tall because the east highrise channel is blocked for floating bridge construction. The east channel could previously accommodate boats up to 64 feet tall. The west channel can accommodate boats up to 45 feet tall.

We appreciate your patience while we gathered data and met with the Coast Guard.

SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program

Drawspan rule adjustments help extend peak SR 520 bridge travel reliability; changes took effect July 5

After consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, we have adjusted the hours for drawspan openings on the SR 520 bridge. Openings will be prohibited during peak commute times of 6:30-10 a.m. (previously 6-9 a.m.) and 3-7 p.m. (previously 4-7 p.m.). Also, boaters will be required to provide two hours notice at all times before the drawspan will be opened, rather than just one hour during certain times of day.

WSDOT used traffic data and comments from the traveling public to request that the Coast Guard alter the hours and rules for drawspan openings. Drawspan openings are currently required for boats above 45 feet tall because the east highrise channel is blocked for floating bridge construction. The east channel could previously accommodate boats up to 64 feet tall. The west channel can accommodate boats up to 45 feet tall.

We appreciate your patience while we gathered data and met with the Coast Guard.

About the Author

Ross
I am the Director of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State. I formerly represented the 48th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives, chairing the Appropriations committee and spent many a year at Microsoft.