'We’ve opened the world’s longest floating bridge:' Westbound traffic using new SR 520 bridge

SEATTLE -- For the first time, a portion of the new SR 520 floating bridge is now open to traffic. The Washington State Department of Transportation opened the westbound lanes of the new bridge at 3:50 Monday morning.

“This is going to be a unique time in history for transportation because we’ve opened the world’s longest floating bridge,” said Steve Peer, a WSDOT spokesperson. “So the westbound will be driving on the longest floating bridge in the world and the eastbound drivers will be driving on the second largest floating bridge in the world.”

There will be three westbound lanes on the new $4.5 billion floating bridge including an HOV lane, according to WSDOT. For the next couple of weeks, eastbound traffic will remain on the existing toll bridge.

WSDOT hopes to open the eastbound lanes April 25th.

The old floating bridge will be taken apart and removed by the end of the year. WSDOT says the pontoons will be towed away and reused for other marine purposes.

SR 520 floating bridge