Gregoire on 520 Bridge: "This is the right bridge at the the right time. We are ready to go."

After 13 years of thorough analysis and input from thousands of people, we’ve announced the preferred alternative for the I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and HOV Project. This is a major milestone in the environmental review process.

The preferred alternative responds to input from the public, the City of Seattle, the University of Washington and environmental regulatory agencies.

This plan prepares us for the future by providing the opportunity for reliable bus rapid transit connections, while at the same time accommodating light rail when the region is ready for light rail in this corridor.

Announcing a preferred alternative keeps the project on schedule and allows us to complete the environmental process, apply for construction permits, and open a new, safer floating bridge to drivers in 2014.

"This is the right bridge at the the right time. We are ready to go," said Gregoire.

WSDOT is ready for light rail when the region chooses to fund it in the future:

Provides a 45-foot space between west approach bridges for future light rail connection to the University Link station. Designs transit/HOV direct-access ramps at Montlake Boulevard that can accommodate future light rail. 115-foot wide floating bridge allows for conversion of transit/HOV lane to light rail. Supplemental pontoons can be added to accommodate additional weight of light rail.