This weekend WSDOT will throw a Grand Opening for the new 520 Bridge, which will open to cars and transit in phases over the next few weeks. Saturday features a fun run beginning at 7:30am, speeches and ribbon cuttings at 10:30am, and a series of family-friendly activities (and if you get your event passport stamped at least twice, you can win Delta Airlines tickets).
Bikes will not be allowed on the bridge Saturday, and the only means of access to the bridge will be Metro-operated shuttles from southbound Montlake Boulevard, Houghton Park-and-Ride, South Kirkland Park-and-Ride, and the Bellevue Transit Center. The Seattle shuttle stop will be directly adjacent to UW Station (northbound on Montlake Boulevard). Unspecified bus reroutes of newly restructured routes 45, 48, 65, 67, 75, and 372 will also surely cause some headaches, especially since the reroute details have not been announced despite the event being tomorrow. And this is in addition to the standard diversion to I-90 of Routes 255 and 545 during SR 520 weekend closures.
In exchange for no bike access Saturday, on Sunday the sold-out Emerald City Bike Ride will allow people to ride their bikes not only on the new 520 bridge, but also in the I-5 express lanes for the first time. While myself and others are in for a big treat with this ride, it’s worth remembering that the new 520 bike path will dead-end in the middle of the bridge until mid-2017 when the West Approach Bridge North completes the connection to Montlake. The westbound bridge will open to vehicles on April 11, and the eastbound bridge will open two weeks later on April 25.