520 Bridge

nullschool (screen capture)

The Pacific Northwest is digging in for a potent windstorm, which is expected to rake the coast and then hit the inland Puget Sound region around 6 p.m.

The storm has been taking shape off the northwest coast as a tightly wound low-pressure system.

“Yeah, it looks meaning,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Smith. “You’ll see the clouds spiraling around the low.”

WSDOT

State officials say they need $170 million more to complete a replacement of the Highway 520 floating bridge on Lake Washington.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said Wednesday that an agency error on pontoon design error is consuming most of the project's reserve funds. Lawmakers had capped the project budget at $2.72 billion, but state transportation officials are now asking the Legislature to raise that to $2.89 billion.

If you drive across Lake Washington this week on the SR-520 floating bridge, you may notice some construction in the water. That’s the first step in building a new floating bridge across the lake--running parallel to and just north of the existing floating bridge.

This week, a large crane will move into place, along with some barges. Then, steel piles will get pushed into the soft soils in the lake-bed, just off-shore of Medina.

Associated Press

The Washington Transportation Department says drivers are gradually returning to the Highway 520 floating bridge since tolling was imposed in late December.

Tolling spokeswoman Patty Michaud said Friday the bridge that handled about 100,000 vehicles a day now typically handles 60,000 to 65,000. Traffic had dropped by nearly half when tolling went into effect.

Associated Press

A bald eagle was struck and killed Tuesday on the Highway 520 floating bridge in Seattle. The eagle is believed to be the male of a pair that nests at the nearby Broadmoor Golf Course in Seattle.

Frequently seen perching on bridge light poles, it was popular with commuters.

WSDOT

People who drive over the State Route 520 floating bridge will likely have a few more months before tolls kick in. The latest estimate of when charges would begin is now August, but the Washington State Department of Transportation won't commit to a date.

The new system has faced a string of delays. It was originally scheduled to be up and running in April. Then it was pushed back to June. Then late July. 

Wikimedia.org

Tolls on the old 520 bridge across Lake Washington are coming soon--likely starting in April.

It's an all-electronic system, so there won't be an option to just throw some coins into a box. You'll need a special pass on the windshield of your car. The price of driving over the floating span between Seattle and Bellevue will vary, depending on the time of day.  

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond put on a happy face as she reminded folks to get ready to pay as much as $3.50 each way at the height of rush hour.

WSDOT / Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 

Flickr/Marc_Smith

Tolls costing $7 for a peak-period round-trip are coming to the highway-520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.  The tolls, approved Wednesday night, will pay for a new, wider bridge – although that bridge won’t open until 2014, at the earliest.   

Flickr photo by pgsvensk

A toll plan for Highway 520 bridge, Four Loko aims for less loco, and 787's test planes come home.