Thursday, February 3, 2011

“Forbidden Access”: Travel Channel tours SR 520 floating bridge

by guest blogger Kris Olsen

Imagine going all over the country, exploring places that are usually off limits to the general public. A film crew shooting a documentary for The Travel Channel was in town recently to explore the inner workings of the SR 520 bridge - the longest floating bridge in the world. Our crews love doing this kind of thing. They are so proud of their bridges. Bridge superintendent Archie Allen did the show-and-tell with a six -person film crew and show host Don Wildman. Outfitted with a microphone, Archie took the crew to mid-span where a boat waited for us. We cruised down the side of the bridge to a spot under the east highrise and then plunged into a pontoon to show them anchor cables, water sensors and how the heck we keep a concrete bridge afloat!
View more photos on our Flickr site.

They shot scenes from different angles, asking Archie and the host to repeat their conversations, take the same walk and show the same cable or hatch door multiple times. The show’s producer was impressed with Archie’s ability to explain things repeatedly and make it sound new and interesting during every take. (We attribute that to Archie’s overall enthusiasm for everything about his bridge!)

This Travel Channel crew spends up to three weeks on the road at a time, working 12 hour days for six days straight, living out of suitcases and schlepping lots of gear through airports around the country. Wildman was excited to tour the bridge. “I love doing stuff like this,” he said. “I get to meet people, go places and see things that most people don’t.” Archie said the crew was easy to work with and the host seemed genuinely interested in the bridge. He thought it was neat that a TV show is highlighting an area of Seattle that’s not one of the usual spots like Pike Place Market. “There are things like our floating bridges that are kind of unique to the city and in turn make our city unique,” Archie said.

The Seattle episode of “Forbidden Access” featuring the floating bridge is tentatively scheduled to air in September.


Anonymous said...

I love the 520 bridge, too. I can't wait to see the show since everytime I drive across the bridge I wonder what's going on with the boat, the guy in the tower, etc. I've been crossing the bridge since there were tolls previously and tho not excited to pay them again I'm happy we are moving forward to save the bridge and make it better. Thanks for caring. And whoever is tweeting as the 520 bridge and the 520 troll I love you guys, too. You always make me smile.

Anonymous said...

When I was going through a horrific divorce I came to live in Medina in the little white 2 bedroom home exactly SE of the bridge. It is the house with the dock that has a wave runner attached to it. All boats must come within 25 feet of the dock. I fell in love with the 520 Bridge. I sat and watched boats all summer. I loved the barges going by with the piles of rock and gravel. The big pieces of machinery captured my attention. The woman who rented the house was a "friend" so to speak. I sure miss that bridge!!!

WSDOT comment policy

Post a Comment