Kudos to the State Department of Transportation

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Realty Executives Brio

windstormI was reading the Seattle Times this evening and I came across an article about the 520 Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. If you live in this area then you know how important the 520 Bridge is for the daily commute. The Bridge is one of two that span Lake Washington connecting Seattle to the vibrant Eastside. Citizens in Bellevue (an affluent suburb), Redmond (the home of Microsoft) and Kirkland (another affluent suburb) all depend on the bridge to make their daily trips to and from the city. Built in 1963 to relieve traffic from the I-90 bridge that spans the lake a few miles south, it has meant a lot to the infrastructure of our highway system. 

Well this little article came with some great new video that the state has paid to have made up. The video, which the state has uploaded to Youtube, as well as hosting it on their site, is meant to show the public what would happen in a "catastrophic failure" as caused by a huge windstorm or earthquake.

Take a look 

Now don't get me wrong, I am all for the idea that visual images help to stimulate the mind. They can certainly give the viewer a better idea of how a particular event may unfold, but seriously $21,000 for that?? Why not utilize the University of Washington and it's students looking for real world experiences to help with a video like this. I'll bet a couple of starving students would have done it for $5,000.

The State Department of Transportation has said that it will cost between 4.4 and 5.3 BILLION to replace the current four lane bridge with a six lane bridge (and if you've ever sat in traffic at 5pm on a Friday night headed to Seattle from the Eastside you know this needs to be done). Never fear though, the state has identified 1.6 BILLION in funding for the replacement. The other 2.8 BILLION (on the low end) I suppose will be donated after the public sees these new videos and is so paralyzed by fear of being stuck on the bridge when it happens, decides to step up to the plate. At least that's how it works in your town right???

There is little reason for concern however as the article lets us know that the bridge would be closed during a windstorm (which is true, I've sat in traffic for three hours for a similar closing). Oh wait........there's still those darn earthquakes.................

I guess if I had the answers though, I'd be bound by my duty as an American to run for office.............wait, is that a duty as a citizen? Or is it ok to just sit back and gripe? 

Comments (7)

Rod Barry
Brio Realty - Lakewood, WA
I would have made that video for less than 21,000, haha.
Apr 11, 2007 08:57 AM
Jennifer Kirby
Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
The Luxury Agent
Bob - yeah, I don't think I want to know what would happen. But the video is very true as I saw the same thing happen to I10 in Pensacola, FL when a 50 foot wave hit the bridge over the bay. Not a pretty sight, and I would hate to be on the bridge when it happened. Unfortunately a truck driver went over the I10 as the wave hit and sadly his cab was found at the bottom of the bay with him in it.
May 15, 2007 08:20 AM
Eric Badgley
Keller Williams - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate
I finally made it to the washington state page
May 29, 2007 04:04 PM
Melissa Olson
HOPE Lending LLC - Bellevue, WA
HOPE Lending LLC

Bob - That got my attention!  Remember the video of Galoping Gurdy, Tacoma Narrow's Bridge?  Yikes!  Really though, I just spent considerable time reading through the WA DOT Transportation Plan and their research statistics to compile information to present to investors.  I'm trying to support that our market is still a wise investment.  It would be nice to see some plans for improving the bridge.  Thankfully, I live and work on the Eastside, but I have experienced delays from closure and it's not fun.

Jun 23, 2007 06:15 AM
Karen Inch
Kenmore, WA

I have driven the floating bridges many times.  I think the video was a waste of money.  If they had saved the $21,000, we would be that much closer to being able to replace it.  I am glad I live close enough to the north end of the lake to be able to drive around it.  However, traffic is getting really bad in this area.

Make it a great day!!!

Aug 21, 2007 08:05 AM
Ken Bell
Realty Executives Brio - Bellevue, WA


I completely agree. Now comes word that the federal government has promised something like 150 million dollars if the state agrees to put tolls on the 520 bridge. That's 150 million of a projected 2 billion dollars needed..................

Aug 21, 2007 08:26 AM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Ken,

Interesting video. Hadn't seen that one before.

Good comments too. At this point, looks like we are doomed to endure another toll bridge.



Sep 07, 2010 07:23 PM