This weekend citizens, elected officials, WSDOT staff and media had the opportunity to tour the midspan section of the bridge.
The event began with short speeches by Secretry Hammond, Rep. White, and Rep. Eddy. They all emphasized that WSDOT is now “counting down to construction” for the floating and Eastside segments of the project. They also emphasized that transit is important in the project and that pre-construction tolling is starting this spring.
Connie Niva then gave a bit of background on Aubrey Davis, who was then honored by WSDOT for his years of work on trans-lake transportation issues, especially in relation to his work with the Washington State Transportation Commission. He was intimately involved in the creation of Metro in the 70’s. WSDOT is a highway building agency, but it certainly is one of the most progressive DOT’s out there, and Aubrey Davis had a large hand in that.
The rest of the tour was pretty casual, with lots of jokes about how it’s not every day you get to walk and relax on the bridge, despite the fact that everyone has crossed it many, many times. I personally was surprised how quiet it was and it was just a surreal experience.
The bridge maintenance crews opened the draw span and able bodied persons had the chance to climb down into the pontoons. The bridge is four compartments wide, with watertight bulkheads on the outer compartments. A man I spoke to said they were probably added after the first I-90 bridge sunk, although he wasn’t completely sure.