Long delays become commonplace on 520 bridge



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Posted on May 16, 2012 at 5:53 AM

SEATTLE-- When vessels are too tall for the bridge, it can take a toll on traffic, but driver James Lynch is not complaining.

"You have to have respect for people who have boats too," he said.

That's easy to say when the wait is just four minutes on the Fremont Bridge, but more patience is needed when you travel on the 520 Bridge.

"We are waiting for up to 30 minutes, " said driver Jay Wright.

Drivers were alerted through highway message boars about a delay of up to 30 minutes.  During that time, the 520 floatiing bridge drawspan was opened so a sailboat with a 53-foot mass could pass through.  The vessel had a 7:30pm reservation Tuesday night with the State Department of Transportation.

Meanwhile, a family stuck on the bridge had an eight o'clock reservation for dinner.

"We are on the way to the Space Needle, actually to the restaurant," said Kunjan Vyas. "I don't know if we'll make it."

Crossing delays will become more common on 520 because work is underway to replace the floating bridge.  Vessels up to 64 feet tall used to be able to clear the eastern highrise, but not anymore.  Construction equipment has moved in, blocking the eastern navigation channel.  Now tall vessels must schedule a time to cross outside of rush hour and drivers need to watch for alerts about delays. 


More information

Bridge closure information