Washington state governor Jay Inslee cut the ribbon to commemorate the completion of the new State Route 520 floating bridge.
During the ceremony, a representative of Guinness World Records, presented a certificate designating the new floating bridge – which measures 7,708.494 feet (2,349.54m) end to end – as the world’s longest.
“This is what it’s all about – seeing years of public engagement, planning, design and construction all come to fruition,” said Roger Millar, acting secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation. “This grand bridge is going to serve our region well for a long long time.”
The new, six-lane bridge opens to vehicles, in two stages, later this month. It is replacing a four-lane predecessor, built in the early 1960s, that is structurally vulnerable to windstorms and strong waves. Benefits of the new bridge include bigger, heavier, stronger pontoons and anchors; a bus and carpool lane in each direction; and wide shoulders that allow disabled vehicles to pull off the highway without blocking traffic.
Pontoon construction began in Tacoma in late 2011, followed by the start of anchor construction in Kenmore the following year. In spring 2012, began bridge construction began on the eastern shore of Lake Washington. The old SR 520 floating bridge is expected to be taken apart and removed from the lake by the end of this year. Its pontoons will be towed away and reused for other marine purposes.