The world’s longest floating bridge has opened in Washington State in northwest America.
The 2.4km-long, six-lane pontoon structure is now enjoying a festive period before opening to vehicles later this month.
The public are able to amuse themselves with interactive exhibits, displays of bridge components, a Lego play area for amateur bridge builders and views from the middle of Lake Washington.
The "520 bridge", as it is called, replace a vulnerable four-lane bridge completed in the early 1960s. It will have:
- Bigger and stronger pontoons and anchors than its predecessor. These should allow the structure to withstand wind and waves better.
- A bus and carpool lane in either direction.
- Wide shoulders that allow broken down vehicles to pull off the highway safely.
- A 14-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path that, in 2017, will connect the Eastside with Seattle.
- A stormwater collection and treatment system that will improve water quality in Lake Washington.
The bridge is part of the "Connecting Washington" package of measures, which is due to be the largest and greenest transportation investment in state history.
Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, said: "A bridge is a monument to optimism. It’s the ultimate expression of confidence in ourselves and in our communities. Today, we’re taking a big step toward that bright future."
Image: Cyclists on the 520 bridge (Twitter)