Washington Roads - WA 520

My photo essay starts on the EB onramp from Montlake Blvd./WA 513, which bears left into WA 520 with a wall that bears right. The intent was for there to be no connection to the mainline here, but for the entire ramp to bear right and enter an interchange with an unbuilt freeway, Thompson Expwy., at which point it would have split to go north, south, or east (merging with the NB-EB ramp) back into 520.

Here's the view heading east on the mainline of the intended NB-WB ramp and, behind it, the WB-SB ramp. The NB-WB ramp is fully built but doesn't come back to grade quickly enough to hold traffic, so it is just sitting unused while the cranes amass to prepare for demolition. You can see the rust stains that suggest why it needed to go, but the main cause was the realignment and widening of WA 520 that you will see some of farther down this page. The WB-SB ramp was open but ended at a stub at Lake Washington Blvd., and also ended up being ripped out as part of the realignment. A new, much shorter overpass was built farther west to compensate.

Continuing east past the stub of what would have been the SB-EB loop ramp, then some southward views along the southern reaches of Union Bay. The second photo features the WB-SB and NB-WB ramps and the last photo features the intended merge from the WA 513 ramp into the NB-EB ramp that was also open from Lake Washington Blvd., the last vestige of the ghost interchange that made it until December 2019.

Looking east from the 24th Ave. onramp at the merge from the NB-WB ramp being used for demolition staging. The main body of the ramp was to merge with WA 520 WB, while an offshoot would have led to the WB ramp to WA 513. Both of these could be visited from an open roadway if you're daring, but now they are no longer.

Looking west from 24th Ave. at the Montlake Blvd. overpass. The EB bus lane that slices through the center of this photo was intended to be the offramp to Thompson Expwy.

For the finale at this interchange, the 2014 Seattle Road Meet stopped on the SB expressway stub. These photos rotate from north to east. I wonder if there was guiderail at some point that was all stripped for scrap value.

A peek at the NB-WB ramp crossing under the mainlines. Traffic would be flowing from left to right as it S-curves under. Not the smoothest alignment.

Driving down the stub SB lanes to Lake Washington Blvd. You can see the freeway pavement for the NB side start at grade. Lake Washington Blvd. would have received an overpass if the freeway was completed (at least southward). The intent was to head north from I-90 as a parallel north-south freeway corridor to I-5 to this point, then cross Union Bay (planned in a tunnel) to head north parallel to WA 513 up to WA 522 - or perhaps to be numbered and replace WA 513. It then would have crossed west to become a west side freeway continuing north in Seattle parallel to WA 99 - which would also have been upgraded to freeway.

Back on the ground, two views of the main body of the NB-WB ramp from the west side and one from the east.

I say goodbye to Thompson Expwy. at the northern extent of the stubbed mainline.

More intrigue as I continue east on WA 520. The new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge is being constructed to the north of the existing 4-lane bridge, which conveniently swings south to permit the new bridge to have a straight alignment. It will still have four lanes for general traffic, but it adds an HOV lane each way and proper shoulders, making it much wider but not doing a whole lot for all those WB cars you see here.

The bridge is taking shape but not yet complete as of October 2014.

Through the western truss and then a look south along Lake Washington. The flashing sign was necessitated by the old drawbridge midspan, which also contributed to the need to replace the bridge by having more parts to be exposed to water and deteriorate.

Continuing east to said drawspan, and you can see that bridge construction from either side is waiting to cross the associated channel until the spans on either side are done.

Past the east side of the future bridge and under the east truss of the existing bridge. You can see the video toll infrastructure set up across the top of the truss and a camera standing guard before it.

Back on the mainline, there's a new cut-and-cover tunnel adjacent to the Fairweather Nature Preserve. It was built to span the future width of WA 520, including a median bus station just to the east. That makes it far wider than existing WA 520's four lanes, so the entire north side is unused while the new bridge approach is constructed. This tunnel eliminated the existing interchange at Evergreen Point Rd. (EB off/WB on), requiring local traffic to continue east to 84th Ave. and double back 1/2 mile.

After all that, I have no construction, just signs with incorrect Interstate shields.

Onto WA 513
Onto I-405
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