Northwest NEWS

August 7, 2000

Business

Governor Locke provides assistance for SR520 bridge travelers

Governor Gary Locke has announced that he will provide emergency funds to provide financial assistance for a week of free bus service on SR520 bridge routes while crews work to repair a damaged support column.
   The free Metro bus service on regularly scheduled routes using SR520 will continue through the end of service Friday, August 11.
   Initial feedback from Metro Transit drivers indicates commuters are taking advantage of the free bus service across the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge.
   The service applies to 25 regularly scheduled routes that travel over the bridge each day. An estimated 496 buses and 11,650 passengers travel across the bridge each weekday. The free service will provide valuable transportation alternatives for a number of North and East King County communities including Woodinville, Totem Lake, Kingsgate, Redmond, Bellevue, Overlake and Kirkland. The service is also expected to help reduce congestion on I-90 during commute times, producing transportation benefits throughout the county.
   Metro is also offering free seats on existing Metro vanpools using SR520 during the month of August. Residents interested in signing up can call Metro VanPool/Carpool Services at (206) 625-4500 or 1-800-427-8249 to be matched with a vanpool serving their travel route and schedule.
   Eastbound SR520 has experienced lengthy backups and increased congestion this week as a result of the closure of one eastbound lane due to a damaged support column. The concrete and steel column was damaged when it was struck by a barge early Saturday morning.
   The temporary repair project is anticipated to be completed by 5 a.m. Monday, August 14.