“The Port of Tacoma could provide contractors with an optional location for building floating bridge pontoons,” said SR 520 Program Director Julie Meredith. “We have an aggressive schedule to open a new floating bridge to drivers in 2014. We want to provide maximum flexibility to the contractor who will be responsible for constructing the new floating bridge.”
Earlier this year, WSDOT awarded a $367 million contract to Kiewit-General Joint Venture to build a casting facility and 33 pontoons in Grays Harbor. These 33 pontoons will either be used for emergency replacement of the current four-lane floating bridge or will be stored until needed for a new six-lane bridge. The Grays Harbor facility will not have enough capacity to build all of the pontoons needed for the entire six-lane floating bridge.
In August, WSDOT launched its search for qualified design-build teams to build the new six-lane floating bridge, including production of the remaining 44 pontoons. The floating bridge project is estimated to be valued at $700 million to $900 million and proposals are due next year. As part of the proposal process, WSDOT will make feasible pontoon construction sites available to the contractor teams, including the Grays Harbor and Concrete Technology Corporation sites, as well as other possible sites identified through fieldwork studies.
The state Legislature set the SR 520 program budget at $4.65 billion for improvements from I-5 in Seattle to SR 202 in Redmond. Toll revenue and state and federal funds provide about $2.37 billion for the SR 520 improvements. WSDOT will continue working with the state Legislature to identify additional funding to complete improvements in the corridor.
More information about the SR 520 Program is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr520bridge.