It's the busiest of Seattle's four drawbridges across the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
It's also the youngest -- completed in 1925.
But most importantly, it's the only bridge that has Bill.
"My name is Bill Dickenson, I am the weekday bridge tender on the Montlake Bridge."
A man with that one special quality that makes him uniquely suited to this job.
"I'm lazy,” he laughed. “It's an excellent job for a lazy person."
Every weekday, from 6 am to 2 pm, Bill wields his power from this perch in the south tower.
He's been doing it for 17 years.
"I get to work alone. which means I don't have any coworker conflicts. And no office politics. And it brings a smile to my face every time I think about that."
Bill sees all.
“Occasionally, like on a Husky football day, the amount of alcohol that's carried across this bridge amazes me. They really should put more Sanikans over there,” the bridge tender mused. “They'll look for a tree, they'll look left, they'll look right. But they don't look up!”
One long horn blast followed by a short one is how boaters ask the bridge to go up. When Bill does the same in reply it means he's about to raise the bridge. A warning bell rings, then if all goes as it should, cars clear off, gates go down, and pedestrians get across the span. Then Bill double checks that the bridge is clear, with the help of a few strategically placed mirrors, and he moves metal.
Splitting the 344 foot span down the middle, them tipping it up towards the skies never gets old.
And he doesn't plan on giving up his lonely tower anytime soon.
"'I'm gonna be sad when I leave here."
But he knows someday he'll give his replacement the same advice he gives all the new tenders he trains:
"Don't panic. But you will."
Meanwhile, he's got this nugget of wisdom for the rest of us.
"If you don't want to get stuck at a bridge opening, don't go across a bridge that opens."
Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with Evening via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email: email@example.com.