Drivers rejoice: Frequent 520 bridge openings coming to an end

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(WSDOT photo)

SEATTLE (AP) — Boats sailing in Lake Washington will have to take a different path for passing the 520 Bridge for a while.

Starting Tuesday, when more pontoons for the replacement bridge are moved into position, the old bridge will no longer lift its drawspan to let boats pass through.

The Seattle Times reports the new six-lane bridge won’t have a drawspan. It will have an east high-rise clearance of 70 feet. That matches the height of the I-90 East Channel Bridge.

Until the new bridge’s scheduled opening in spring 2016, tall boats will need to go under the old bridge’s 58-foot-tall high-rise near the Medina shoreline.

There are 60 pleasure and commercial boats that won’t be able to fit underneath.

Transportation officials say they’ve been working with the boating community to tell them they have to pick a side of Lake Washington, either north or south of 520.

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