Wired magazine picked the SR 520 floating bridge as one of “The 7 Most Majestic Infrastructure Projects of 2016” with the title of “Most Buoyant.” Congratulations, Washington State Department of Transportation. Did you get a trophy with that?
We overlook our floating bridges because they work so well. When they’re talked about it’s usually because of the traffic they carry - or hang onto during a backup. Some drivers don’t even realize that the 520, I-90, and Hood Canal bridges are held up by buoyancy, not by pillars and pilings. Our waters are simply too deep for conventional construction.
The new bridge opened and the old bridge closed in April, 2016. And the work is not done, especially, if the Light Rail ever gets to use it. Connecting the two sides of the lake connects the economies, too.
On the list of major infrastructure projects, it may be a surprise that Bertha didn’t make the list; but, our tunnel boring machine isn’t done yet and the competition was the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a 35 mile tunnel in Switzerland.
Competition begs the question, what other buoyant infrastructure projects were there in 2016? Was it a list of one? Congratulations, again, anyway.