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SEATTLE -- Federal transportation officials have officially OK'd a $3.45 billion replacement bridge across Lake Washington for SR520.

The replacement bridge would include six lanes for 5.2 miles, from I-5 to Medina.

Plans for a newer and more efficient bridge have been in the works for about 15 years. According to the KING 5 Investigators, nearly $400 million has already been spent on the project before any significant construction has taken place.

U.S. TransportationDepartment reports Washington's DOTcan now begin right-of-way acquisition. (What is right of way acquisition? Click here for an explanation from WSDOT)

Reaching this important milestone brings Washington closer to improving safety and easing congestion for the thousands who depend on the SR 520 floating bridge every day, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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