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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Post About Bridges

posted by on January 16 at 16:10 PM

If you’re tired of all this Obama/Clinton back and forth, get ready for a mind-blowing argument against floating bridges, straight from our mail room.

Cleaned up, bolds are mine, not transcribed in all caps as it was written. Read on.


For what to do about the SR 520 hole in the water into which hundreds of millions of tax dollars are gobbled up, lets thing BIG really BIG. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built long before it was still strong. Yes, floating bridges are cheaper to build but must be replace more often. [unreadable].

Think BIG! A TOLL BRIDGE BUILT by a private company with tax generating very high end condos built around the towers!

Condo marinas at the base of the towers, broadcast antennae on top of towers, exclusive transit—bus, rail, taxi—lanes, non motorized lanes. Double decker. A multi jurisdiction sheriff’s boats station and multi-jurisdiction and high speed hydrofoil (!!!) fire tug would be stationed there. There are many very expensive houses and boats on Lake Washington accessible by very tiny roads and few fire hydrants.

It is time to stop throwing our tax money on it and make it PAY tax!!!

Up and over spans for the University Bridge on Montlake Bridge could be attached to the bottom of it, smoothing both land moor and marine moor traffic. EVERYBODY WINS. Tourists would arive from all over to see it and it would have a helipad and dirigible tours.

Quick! Someone call the Governor! We have a plan.

RSS icon Comments


I LOVE dirigible tours!!!!

Posted by boxofbirds | January 16, 2008 4:20 PM

That WAS the governor, Jonah.

Posted by monkey | January 16, 2008 4:26 PM

Um, he's not the governor, he lost, remember?

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 16, 2008 4:31 PM

My goodness what a good plan. Thank god he thought of the hydrofoil and derigible tours. Otherwise I would've though "THIS MAN IS CRAZY" but now I realize just how thin the line is between insanity and genius.

Posted by Fonky | January 16, 2008 4:42 PM

The part that's not crazy is that we are building disposable bridges. The I-90 has a useful life of 75 years. The current 520 apparently only was good for about 40 years.

Washington has 4 of the 5 longest floating bridges in the world.

Most people think Lake Washington is too deep but it's deepest point is only 214'. That is deep but bridge footings have been built deeper, for example the Bay Bridge has a footing over 230' deep.

Posted by whatever | January 16, 2008 4:52 PM

I'm stunned by the brilliance of this plan!!

Posted by NaFun | January 16, 2008 4:53 PM

IF we would loosen up roads and bridges from being the near-total state monopoly that they are now, we would get more innovative solutions. Maybe not the one above, but more innovative stuff.

Posted by JMR | January 16, 2008 5:17 PM

The monorail was supposed get extra money from renting out party trips. So this is better, really. If we built the bridge sixteen lanes in each direction and had it feed into the three lanes of I-5 going each direction, traffic would on the bridge would basically come to a standstill, and we could just charge people overnight fees to sleep in their cars on the bridge, kind of a fancy KOA with a lake view--could even put in fire rings and showers.

Posted by public werx | January 16, 2008 5:26 PM

THAT (the inset text) was the best Mudede post EVER!!!

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 16, 2008 5:45 PM

You know, if we just mined the lake with those WW II floating mines, we could rent out guides to small watercraft to guide people across ...

Don't want to pay the toll, hope your not in a mined lane ...

How about the state just pays for the State Route bridge and stops whining?

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 16, 2008 6:07 PM

I'd pay millions to live in a condo built on a bridge tower in the middle of a huge lake under which a large fault runs.

Of course, it would be earthquake proof...

Any place to land my jet pack and park my hovercraft out of the rain?

Posted by ecce homo | January 16, 2008 6:16 PM


The reason there are hardly any other floating bridges anywhere else in the world is that we in Puget Sound are smarter and more advanced in our transportation planning.
Some of those bridges that float can last as long as 60-75 years.

That's decades. Decades. Longer than the bonds to pay for them.

Longer than many of us LIVE.


Posted by unPC | January 16, 2008 6:34 PM

This is all out of order. First we get back on the gold standard. Then we withdraw from the UN. Then... no wait first we elect Ron Paul. Then we do that other stuff.

THEN we get dirigibles, hydrofoils and helipads on our bridges that pay taxes.

This is one of those moral truths that can be proven MATHEMATICALLY! Read Starship Troopers people. For GOD'S SAKE read Starship Troopers while there's still time...

Posted by elenchos | January 16, 2008 7:12 PM

WashDot's official reasons not to build conventional - apparently they don't know that the deepest spot is just over 200' although I'm only guessing that's what "Lake Washington is between 200 and 400 feet" means - gives one a lot of confidence in their analysis. Could they maybe tell us how much more it would cost for a bridge that could last much longer.

Why is WSDOT building a floating bridge over Lake Washington as opposed to a conventional suspension bridge? A conventional suspension bridge over Lake Washington would not work for several reasons:
Suspension bridges need to travel in a fairly straight line. Because SR 520 is a curved corridor, a suspension bridge would not be possible.
Lake Washington is between 200 and 400 feet, and the bridge’s support towers would have to be approximately 630 feet in height, nearly the height of the Space Needle, to support the bridge. These massive towers would be out of character with the surroundings because it would create more noise and block views.
Conventional fixed bridges, such as the new bridge over the Tacoma Narrows, are expensive to build in deeper waters with soft beds, such as Lake Washington.

Posted by whatever | January 16, 2008 7:40 PM

next time i get really stoned, i will be sure to send my ideas over to the stranger.

then again, at least whoever sent that in was at least rubbing a couple neurons together as opposed to our legislators who are all in too much of a food-and-cash coma from the various lobbies to even think about doing anything out-of-the-box.

Posted by kinkos | January 16, 2008 7:48 PM

We have floating bridges because we can't build any other kind. Not only is Lake Washington 400 fucking feet deep, it's bottom is amorphous, which mud of varying and changing densities going down for another undetermined depth. We can't build pilings.

Barring a massive leap in technology, or a seismic event that puts some strategically placed bedrock, we're gonna have floating bridges for a long time.

Posted by Gitai | January 16, 2008 7:49 PM

I think the floating bridges should also have turrets with cannons in them, so as to ward other, competing floating bridges away from their turf, and to blast away vehicles that have the temerity to stall along the shoulders during rush hour.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 16, 2008 7:57 PM

Floating bridges are retarded. So are canoes.

They should both be banned.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 16, 2008 9:01 PM

gitai its 200 feet deep where's your can do attitude?

Posted by whatever | January 16, 2008 9:08 PM

the depth of Lake Washington doesn't matter if the base won't be stable, go to Bellevue on your hydrofoil whatever

Posted by vooodooo84 | January 16, 2008 9:40 PM

The bottom of Lake Washington is murky, nasty shit that just keeps getting murkier and nastier as you go down. The depth to the "bottom" of the lake is pretty arbitrary - it depends on what density of muck you use to define the "bottom." You'd be sinking caissons for a LONG time before you got to anything solid. Oh, and the deeper you go, the wider your columns need to be. A floating bridge is in fact more feasible than a suspension bridge. That's why both I-90 and 520 have floating bridges.

Posted by Greg | January 17, 2008 12:08 PM

VD84 - Sims will own the hydrofoils, check the new county ferry system.

Greg - why is it that in the whole world Seattle has four of the five longest floating bridges?

How do they anchor the current bridges in the muck?

Posted by whatever | January 17, 2008 2:45 PM

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