SR-520 & Portage Bay Bridge Facilities


WSDOT replaced the bridge on its SR-520 spanning Lake Washington from Portage Bay (Seattle) to Medina and points east in April 2016. At the time of completion of construction, the 520 bridge was the world’s longest floating bridge, beating out its former self (the old Evergreen Point Floating Bridge). We as greenways advocates were particularly excited about the inclusion of a walking/running/biking path, as it meant that people could safely and legally access Bellevue, Redmond, Medina, and Kirkland from Seattle in 5 miles, instead of 13+ miles via either the I-90 bridge or the Burke-Gilman Trail.

However, CSG noted that WSDOT had not planned on making connections for path-users once off the 520 bridge and onto the also-new Portage Bay Bridge into the Montlake and University of Washington-area neighborhoods. We gathered support from neighbors and users who were interested to see this connection made, and advocated for people to ask WSDOT to listen and incorporate our concerns into the final design for both the 520 and Portage Bay bridge replacements.

In early 2013, Seattle City Council responded in concert with our efforts and passed a resolution explicitly directing the City and WSDOT to revise the walking/running/biking facilities in design according to feedback from public outreach. In 2016, the new bridges opened with a 14-ft-wide protected path running entirely along the north edge of the 520 Bridge. Pavement markings along the E Hamlin/Park/Shelby St loop, on the overpass to Lake Washington Blvd, and towards the Bill Dawson trail help establish greenway access to/from the bridge on the Seattle side.

Post history:

WSDOT improvements continue on in the Montlake interchange as of late 2019. Project updates and information can be found here.