Images of future Hwy. 520 bike trail over Lake Washington

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It seems almost too good to be true for Seattle area bicyclists.

The new Highway 520 bridge across Lake Washington will have a bicycle and pedestrian trail. These artists’ renderings prove it.

The Washington Department of Transportation posted the future views of the bridge at its account last week.

Although I knew that advocates from Cascade Bicycle Club and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington pushed for a bike trail on the new bridge, seeing these views somehow makes it all the more real.

Now all we have to do is wait three years until mid-2015 for the six-lane bridge to be complete.

The bike/ped trail will be 14 feet wide, that’s 4 feet wider than the trail on the Interstate 90 bridge over Lake Washington. It will be separated from traffic by a 14-inch concrete barrier.

In addition, five turnouts will be installed so that pedestrians or cyclists stop and enjoy with view without impeding others on the trail.

Bridge project developer John White told the Seattle Times that turnouts — called belvederes — will protrude over the water. They’ll be sheltered from the wind and can provide interpretive displays.

That’s something that could make this bridge a tourist destination.

The existing bridge, of course, has no such amenities. Bicyclists who need to cross Lake Washington must wait for a ride from a bike rack-equipped Metro bus at either end.

The Seattle Times reports the state is proceeding with the project, although it’s presently $2 billion short of being able to pay the entire $4.65 billion price tag.

Part of that bill is being paid by tolls on the current and future bridge, much to the distress of some motorists who write comments to the Times. They must not realize that the rest of the funds comes from taxes that everyone pays — even bicyclists.

My only complaint is that in the interest of accuracy, at least one of these artist renderings should show the bridge on a rainy day.

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  1. […] artist’s conception of the new State Route 520 bridge over Lake Washington shows a first-ever bike lane across the span, among other […]

  2. […] the views without interrupting commuting cyclists. (That bike path design sounds similar to the Highway 520 bridge replacement project in […]

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