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Teams compete to build SR 520 floating bridge project


November 5, 2010

SEATTLE – Three teams have been selected to compete to design and build the new SR 520 floating bridge, estimated to cost $700 million to $900 million. The new bridge will replace the existing vulnerable floating bridge with a six-lane facility that will open to traffic in 2014 and help improve travel between Seattle and Redmond.

The prequalified teams are Skanska-Flatiron-Traylor Joint Venture, SR 520 Corridor Constructors (Walsh Construction Company, PCL Construction Services and Weeks Marine) and Kiewit-General-Manson Joint Venture. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) selected these design-build teams based on statements of qualifications submitted in October.

“Recently, we’ve seen how competition – combined with a favorable bidding environment – has driven down costs and increased innovation on many of our projects,” said Paula Hammond, state transportation secretary. “We anticipate these world-class teams will submit competitive bids and provide taxpayers more value for their money.”

In coming weeks, WSDOT plans to issue a request for proposals to the prequalified teams for the floating bridge project. Their bids and proposals will be due in spring 2011. One design-build team will be selected in mid-2011. Construction will begin in 2012 and the new bridge will open in 2014.

This will be the third design-build effort for WSDOT in the SR 520 corridor. Design-build is a type of contract that combines project design and construction together into a single contract. A designer and contractor combine forces to submit a detailed design and construction proposal with a fixed price.

The contract will call for constructing 44 of 77 concrete pontoons needed for the floating bridge, support columns, roadway and new connections at the ends of the floating bridge. A separate contract for the Pontoon Construction Project was awarded in January that will build 33 of 77 concrete pontoons in Grays Harbor for the SR 520 floating bridge.

The design-build contract for a new floating bridge will include:

· Building a new six-lane floating bridge with transit/HOV lanes and a bicycle/pedestrian path.

· Construction of 44 supplemental pontoons and 58 anchors.

· Use of 33 pontoons to be constructed beginning next year in Grays Harbor as part of a contract signed with Kiewit-General Joint Venture.

· Building facilities to treat stormwater from the roadway before it reaches Lake Washington.

· Building a new maintenance facility and dock on the east shore of Lake Washington.

The current floating bridge is vulnerable to windstorms. Stormwater from the bridge currently flows into Lake Washington untreated.

WSDOT began a thorough environmental analysis of the project in 2000. The draft and supplemental environmental analyses published in 2006 and 2010 show that, when completed from I-5 to Medina, the floating bridge project will improve travel times and reliability in the corridor. The new SR 520 also will meet current design and safety standards. The environmental review of the I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and HOV Project, which includes the floating bridge project, is scheduled to be complete in 2011.

WSDOT recently awarded a $306.3 million contract to design and build the Eastside Transit and HOV Project, which includes highway improvements from Medina to Bellevue. In January 2010, WSDOT awarded the $367.3 million Pontoon Construction Project. The winning bids for each of these SR 520 design-build projects came in millions of dollars less than the state’s estimates and included innovative proposals for completing the projects.

The floating bridge project is funded in part by toll revenue to be collected on the floating bridge starting spring 2011. The legislature set the SR 520 program budget at $4.65 billion for improvements from I-5 in Seattle to SR 202 in Redmond. Toll revenue and state and federal funds provide about $2.37 billion in funding for the SR 520 improvements. WSDOT will continue working with the state Legislature to identify additional funding for other improvements in the corridor.

More information about the SR 520 Program is available at


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