The fifth cycle of pontoons for the State Route 520 bridge are complete, and will be floating out of their Aberdeen casting basin later this month. Port Executive Director Leonard Barnes told Commissioners this week “We’re going to have the pontoons floating out for Kiewit on the 26th, in the morning at about 0800 they’ll start moving. We’re going to take those to Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.” Adding that this is the next to last batch of pontoons to be built in Aberdeen “there will be six in this batch, like the previous ones. Then the next one will happen at the very end of March, for [float-out] the first of April 2015. There will be only 3 pontoons, half as many in that one, and that’s it.”
Barnes gave tips on how to view the giant concrete structures that morning “It’s a great opportunity I think, if you want to go see. I would suggest going to the 28th street boat launch, because you can see right there from the viewing tower, the one at T1 is right there, the one going to T3 are going to run right in front of you, so it’ll be a great spot to view.” The pontoons will hang around in the harbor for a while, and will later be towed to Lake Washington for construction of the new SR 520 floating bridge.
SR 520 – Bridge Replacement and HOV Program Update
The great pontoon migration continues
Those who enjoy their pontoons on the move take note. Ten supplemental stability pontoons are being floated from Tacoma to Lake Washington over the next week. These smaller pontoons will be joined to the larger longitudinal pontoons to help stabilize the new floating bridge.
This arrival will bring the pontoon population in Lake Washington for the new bridge to 60. That’s 60 of the new bridge’s 77 total pontoons. We hope the older, established pontoons welcome the newcomers so construction crews don’t have to force them to socialize with nametags and cheesy icebreakers.
The tugboat Terilyn has the honors of escorting the pontoons to meet their new family. The WSDOT website has web tracking tools and prime pontoon spotting locations. Take note, however: These latest pontoons are all moving through the ship canal in the dead of night, so you’ll need a flash if you hope to get a picture.
‘Most Extreme Bridges’ TV show delayed due to extreme extremity
The Travel Channel’s “The World’s Most Extreme” series was due to premiere the most extreme bridges episode, featuring the new SR 520 floating bridge, on Sept. 16. The floating bridge, however, evidently was deemed too extreme for the viewing public, as the show was temporarily bumped in favor of a show about RVs. Most extreme RVs on the most extreme bridges? We smell a crossover hit. The bridge episode is now scheduled to air at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, but you can check the SR 520 Twitter feed for updates on any last-minute program shuffling should it occur again.