In an effort to help drivers on the 520 floating bridge, the Coast Guard has changed some of the boating regulations to limit when boats can pass through the draw area on Lake Washington. In the past few weeks, the bridge traffic has been congested near the beginning or end of commuting time so that drivers either had to pay a greater fee just after peak time, or drive around to I-90.
According to the Seattle Times, there were nearly 59 draw openings between April-June, and the public has been reporting complaints not only to the DOT but also to the state legislators. As a result, boats are now banned from passing through week days between 6:30am-10am and 3pm-7pm. An opening can take 30 minutes, so the last passage will be at 6am and 2:30pm, and boaters will now need to give 2hrs notice to request an opening. Did you know that the Highway 520 floating bridge is able to open and allow boat traffic to pass through? I wasn’t aware for a long time, as it rarely opened for water traffic during the peak hours that I’d passed through; at least not as much as the Fremont bridge over Lake Union, or the Ballard bridge. Nevertheless, these new regulations will benefit those drivers who had noticed a substantial setback in their morning and afternoon commutes. For more information on the new regulations, visit the WSDOT.