Quite the span - worlds largest floating bridge open today

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King County (South of here - home to the People's Socialist Republic of Seattle) just replaced the old bridge across Lake Washington. The new span is the worlds longest floating bridge.

From the WA Department of Transportation:

Public celebrates grand opening of new floating bridge
The world’s newest and longest floating bridge opened its arms to the public Saturday morning, April 2, as Gov. Jay Inslee cut an orange ribbon to commemorate the completion of the new State Route 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.

The official ribbon-cutting at the bridge’s midspan was just one of many Grand Opening activities during a daylong celebration expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors onto the 1.5-mile-long structure.

A bit more:

During this morning’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Michael Empric, a representative of Guinness World Records, presented Millar with a certificate designating the new floating bridge – at 7,708.494 feet, end to end – as the world’s longest. The ceremony opened with a tribal blessing of the bridge by Muckleshoot Tribe member Warren KingGeorge, and closed with a tribal song by the Muckleshoot Language Group.

Earlier in the day, more than 12,000 people participated in a 10K run/walk from Husky Stadium, across the bridge, and back to the stadium. On Sunday, April 3, 7,000 bicyclists will close the celebration with a 20-mile “Emerald City Bike Ride” across the bridge and through car-free downtown Seattle streets. More than 50 corporations and organizations, including Delta Air Lines and Microsoft, helped sponsor the weekend celebration.

From his first day in office, Inslee worked to secure full funding for the SR 520 corridor, and last July he signed into law the project’s final installment of $1.6 billion, which will complete the highway’s Seattle improvements from Lake Washington to I-5. This funding was part of a balanced and multimodal transportation investment package that fixes hundreds of bridges, funds thousands of miles of roadway, and authorizes Sound Transit to expand light rail north to Everett, south to Tacoma, east to Redmond, and within Seattle between Ballard and West Seattle.

The “Connecting Washington” package will increase safety, create 200,000 jobs and provide traffic relief. All told, it is the largest and greenest transportation investment in state history.

When I worked at MSFT for five years, I drove across the old bridge every day - always a nice part of the day as I would get up early before the traffic got bad. Made a point to get in right at the time my boss did - or a little before.

Happy to see the highway infrastructure getting repaired but sad to see so much light rail going in - Seattle is not big enough to support a full rail system. I can see between SeaTac airport and Downtown, that makes sense for business travelers but the rest of it? Buses work much better and when the demographics of an area change, it is easy to change the bus routes - not so much with light rail. Plus, the costs are so great that it would be cheaper to buy every regular rider a Prius and the operations and maintenance costs are so high that each Prius owner could get $10,000 cash each year to pay for gas.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 2, 2016 2:24 PM.

Well dagnabit - looks like a No-rora tonight was the previous entry in this blog.

And we are back in the running is the next entry in this blog.

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