Aren’t They Going the Wrong Way?
Here’s something cool I saw while crossing Seattle’s Montlake Bridge on my way home. This is one of the pontoons for the new highway 520 floating bridge over Lake Washington. The unusual bit is that they’re headed away from the bridge, as a series of people noted when they saw me standing there with my camera. “Aren’t they going the wrong way?” asked three different people in succession. Yup, they are, and the reason, as has been widely reported, is that the first pontoons delivered have a design flaw that caused cracks. Not a good thing in a huge concrete box that’s supposed in float in a lake for decades, supporting a four-lane highway. This pontoon and one or two others are being moved somewhere they can be fixed. Some others have added bits that make them too big to come back out of the lake, so they’ll have to be fixed in place somehow.
I like the way they have a smaller tug strapped across the front. My guess is that by running it forward or backward, they can steer the pontoon more easily than they could using just the back-end tug.