Seattle, WA is Home to the Longest Floating Bridge in the World

The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, officially changed to the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge in 1988 ( to honor the governor who advocated the bridge’s construction) is probably the closest you’ll ever get to driving on a large body of water. It is 7,500 feet across making it the longest floating bridge in the world. The locals refer to the bridge as the “520 Bridge” as it is part of State Route 520 and goes across Lake Washington from Seattle, WA to Medina, WA.


Image By Oran Viriyincy

The Governor Albert D. Rosselini – Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, opened back in August 1963, is not the first floating bridge to go across Lake Washington. The first was the Lake Washington Floating Bridge built back in the 1940s as part of Route 10.

Referred to as essentially a 1.42 mile long barge, the Governor Albert D. Rosselini – Evergreen Point Floating Bridge was in fact a creative and innovative solution to the problem architects faced at the time. How were they going to get a bridge across a lake that was far too wide and deep for a traditional suspension bridge?

Their solution? A floating bridge. The bridge was constructed using prestressed concrete pontoons each measuring approximately 360 feet long, 60 feet wide and 14.9 feet deep. And while a good portion of the bridge “floats” on the water, there are sections on either side that are elevated to let smaller boats and vessels pass under the bridge. There is also a drawspan, or retractable portion of the bridge, that opens by separating the middle pontoons and sliding them under the elevated sections in order to let larger vessels through. They can also be opened to relieve water pressure during storms.

Now, due to the weight of reinforcements added over the years, the bridge currently sits about a foot lower than it did after its original construction. Also, despite various retrofits, the bridge is still in danger of collapse surrounding any major seismic activity and is usually closed during high winds for safety reasons. Putting all that aside, it is still an incredible bridge, definitely worth taking a drive across…for the experience alone.


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