The Evergreen Point Bridge, its original name when it opened five decades ago (and before it was named for former governor Albert D. Rossellini), was built in a different era. Prior to 520, drivers had just one crossing across Lake Washington – the original Lake Washington Floating Bridge. And prior to that, you either drove around or hitched a ride on one of many ferries traversing the lake. Today’s quick trek across the lake was once a day’s (or more!) journey.
520 construction began in 1960, lasted through the 1962 World’s Fair, and opened on Aug. 28, 1963, the same day as Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.
Aerial view of west approach bridge construction in 1962. Bridge piers were built in Lake Washington prior to adding the superstructure and roadway. Photo credit: City of Seattle Municipal Archives
|Each winter, significant wind and wave action takes its toll on the existing SR 520 floating bridge, requiring WSDOT to perform regular inspections and maintenance.|
|During the 2008 Seafair Marathon, thousands of runners crossed the SR 520 floating bridge, filling its two eastbound lanes to capacity.|
Retirement is the next step, as crews continue work to assemble the new SR 520 floating bridge on Lake Washington, featuring a bicycle/pedestrian path, new transit/HOV lanes, and wider, safer shoulders.
|This visualization of the new SR 520 floating bridge looking east shows the bridge’s new transit/HOV lanes, bicycle/pedestrian path, wider shoulders, and sentinel architectural features.|
Happy Birthday, SR 520 Bridge!
Those are our memories. What are yours? We’d love to hear from you. Hitch a ride on 520 Memory Lane to share your fondest 520 memory as a story, poem, photo or video. We’ll be posting them regularly throughout the month of August.