The old SR 520 floating bridge opened to traffic in 1963 and its replacement bridge opened in 2016. These bridges share a unique history with Lake Washington, shoreline communities, Native American tribes and others. This site describes the development of the vibrant communities along what is now the SR 520 corridor, and the area's multiple inhabitants, from the Coast Salish peoples to the present neighborhood residents.

This site was developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration as an educational resource and as part of a Programmatic Agreement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (pdf 1mb). Content and educational materials for this site were developed in partnership with HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington State history.

Acknowledgements: This website was developed by a number of individuals, groups, and organizations. Many thanks to HistoryLink.org, EnviroIssues, Gray Lane Preservation and Planning, Dominic Black, the WSDOT Interactive Communications Department, the SR 520 Program, the WSDOT Cultural Resources Program, and all of the agencies and neighborhood groups that participated in this endeavor.

Our deepest gratitude to those individuals who shared their time and memories in the oral histories. They are:
The late Archie Allen, former WSDOT Bridge Maintenance and Operations Supervisor
Dean Bitney, Mercer Island resident
Warren KingGeorge, Oral Historian for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Roxanne Bitney, Mercer Island resident and former SR 520 toll plaza employee
Bill Dickenson, Montlake Bridge Tender
Tim Ditch, WSDOT Bridge Maintenance Supervisor
Michael Luis, Mayor of Medina, WA
Dr. Lorraine McConaghy, Public Historian at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)
Julie Meredith, P.E., WSDOT SR 520 Program Administrator

Program Information


SR 520 Information