SR 520 Bridge Status Update

The Department of Transportation sends out a regular update on what’s going on. Here’s their update from today celebrating the signing of the 520 bill yesterday at Bellevue City Hall.

Eastside improvements can move ahead: Gov. Gregoire and state Legislature allow bridge tolls to be spent in the SR 520 corridor

We’re now a big step closer to building transit/HOV lanes and making major improvements on SR 520 on the Eastside. On Tuesday, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation (ESSB 6392) that allows toll revenue collected on the SR 520 floating bridge to be used for improvements within the SR 520 corridor from I-5 in Seattle to SR 202 in Redmond.

State law approved in 2009 allowed the funds to be spent on only a replacement SR 520 floating bridge. State law needed to be changed so toll revenue could finance both a replacement SR 520 floating bridge and start construction on improvements east of Medina to help commuters and the environment.

We plan to have a contractor onboard by the end of this year and begin construction on the Eastside in 2011. We will be advertising for and meeting with contractors in April to ensure that those who are interested in bidding on the Eastside Project can learn more about the project and the contracting process.

We’re also moving forward on discussions about the west side design. The legislation:

  • Requires that $200 million in toll revenue be spent west of the floating bridge.
  • Creates four workgroups:
    • Transit connections: A workgroup including WSDOT, the city of Seattle, transit agencies and the University of Washington to study and recommend transit connections to the University Link light rail line in the Montlake area.
    • Transit planning and finance: A workgroup including WSDOT, King County Metro and Sound Transit to recommend options for planning and financing high-capacity transit in the SR 520 corridor.
    •  Refine the design: A workgroup including WSDOT and city of Seattle officials to refine design of the preferred alternative for the I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and HOV Project.
    •  Arboretum mitigation: Requires WSDOT to work with the city of Seattle, University of Washington, and the governing board of the Washington Park Arboretum on a mitigation plan to address SR 520 impacts to the Arboretum.

Each of these workgroups will complete their efforts by the end of 2010 to ensure a new SR 520 floating bridge opens to traffic in 2014.

Review and comment on the SR 520 bridge project analysis through April 15

There are fewer than two weeks before the comment period ends on the environmental document for the I-5 to Medina SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Project. The documents are online, and we make commenting easy with the option of e-mailing or filling out an online comment form.

Our environmental analysis, called a supplemental draft environmental impact statement, looks at three Montlake interchange designs, as well as the effects of building a new six-lane SR 520 floating bridge and roadway from I-5 to Medina. If you missed our Feb. 23 hearing, you still can review the presentation boards.

WSDOT will consider comments from the public before identifying a preferred Montlake interchange design at the end of April. Then we will start to prepare a final environmental impact statement, an important and required step before seeking construction permits.

How do I review the environmental document?

  • View documents and comment online at the SR 520 Web page.
  • Visit local libraries in the greater Seattle area. A full list is on our Web page.
  • Call the project office at 206-770-3500 to request a free executive summary and CD or to purchase a printed copy of the document.

How do I comment on the environmental document?

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.