Otro: Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge—Evergreen Point
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Récord: 4750 m.
País: Estados Unidos
Localización: Seattle - Medina, Washington
Descripción:Problems on SR-520 Floating Bridge Causing Delays, Cost Overruns
Posted on August 24, 2013
The project to replace the Governor Albert D. Rosellini/Evergreen Point Bridge, the world’s longest floating bridge, is facing costly delays due to design and construction problems by WSDOT and contractor Kiewit. Now due to open a year and a half late by mid-2016, the $4.25 billion project will replace the 7,500 foot span across Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue with increased traffic, pedestrian, transit capacity. The 1963 structure is part of State Highway 520 and an integral connection between communities in western Washington, but delays have contributed to safety concerns and excess costs.
WSDOT has been planning a replacement for the aging bridge since at least 1997, when it first starting funding the project. The state legislature has allocated up to $4.65 billion for the project and about a quarter of that has been spent so far, and repairs on the floating pontoons are eating into a $250 million reserve fund. Another $1.5 billion for replacing the western landings in Seattle remains unfunded. WSDOT is studying alternative funding options, like federal grants; Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama), on the State House Transportation Committee, says, “If they want a gas tax…they’ve got to get things right. They’ve lost a lot of trust.” Time-variable tolling on the existing SR-520 bridge began in 2011 to help fund the project, and will continue on the new bridge until at least the 2050s.
The current bridge is structurally deficient, having had many repairs and seismic upgrades in recent years, and faces safety and congestion issues. It carries about 115,000 vehicles per day, but high winds and drawspan openings for boats regularly force the closure of the bridge and stop traffic. In 1989, an accidental opening killed one driver and injured several others. In 2000 a tugboat collision caused $250,000 in damage. In April a drunk driver made a U-turn on the bridge and killed another driver in a head-on crash, and in June an unknown vessel severed one of the underwater anchor cables.
The new bridge, located just north of the current one, will be almost twice as wide as the current 60 foot design, have two travel lanes and a HOV lane in each direction. Design features include a wider pedestrian path that will feature five projecting observation points, and four ‘sentinel’ tower-like structures will indicate the transition between bridge piers and the floating foundations. The boat clearance under the eastern landing will be higher, at 44 feet, to match the Interstate-90 bridges. The floating portion will consist of 77 concrete pontoons, built in Aberdeen and Tacoma and some of which will be 360 feet long, and as of this posting about 30 are in position on the lake. Possible future upgrades include replacing the HOV lanes with a Sound Transit light rail route, or adding rail in addition to all six lanes. Such retrofits would require additional support pontoons, environmental reviews, and planning work that would take up to two years; in regards to funding, a recent initiative that would have prohibited paying for light rail with bridge tolls was defeated by Washington voters. Other challenges to the project have been physical rather than fiscal.
The Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge—Evergreen Point (formerly the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, and commonly called the SR 520 Bridge or 520 Bridge) is a floating bridge in the U.S. state of Washington that carries State Route 520 across Lake Washington from the Montlake/Union Bay district of Seattle to Medina.
The bridge's total length is approximately 4,750 meters (15,580 ft). Its 2,310 meters (7,580 ft) floating section is the longest floating bridge on Earth.
The Evergreen Point of the bridge's original name is the westernmost of the three small Eastside peninsulas that SR 520 crosses. (The other two are Hunts Point and Yarrow Point.) In 1988, it was renamed for the state's 15th governor, Albert D. Rosellini, who had advocated its construction.
Inserción: 2014-09-10 13:55:11
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