Last month, the $26 million project, which spans State Route 520 and connects the Overlake neighborhood on the south side — including the Microsoft campus — to major arterials on the north side, was named a Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The award was in the Transportation category at a cost between $25 million and $75 million.
“Each year, APWA presents the Public Works Project of the Year awards to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant and their cooperative achievements,” the organization noted in a press release.
Primary contractor Tri-State Construction, Inc. and primary consultant Berger ABAM worked closely with the city on the project, which was completed in December 2010. The Washington State Department of Transportation previously gave the City of Redmond an award for the project.
The 480-foot-long bridge features two landscaped lids designed for use by bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers. The project is slated to reduce vehicle miles traveled by 135,000 miles per year.
“The project is very important in creating mobility and circulation in the Overlake neighborhood,” said Redmond Mayor John Marchione. “It reflects the hard work of people working as a team and shows our cooperation with Microsoft (which funded $17.5 million of the project), Honeywell, Nintendo and other businesses.”
The mayor added that they saved $1 million in construction costs by building trees and planters into the bridge to contain rainwater instead of building concrete vaults to do the job.
Added Bob Fernandes, vice president of Berger ABAM: “It doesn’t just serve cars, it also serves the people in the two communities.”
He feels that it enhances the pedestrian experience with landscaped paths situated a good distance from the road and cars driving by.
Mike Paul, Redmond Public Works construction division manager, said that two years in, he deems it a successful project and sees people walking and biking across it all the time.
“It’s definitely a showcase project,” he said. “It’s a gateway right into the Overlake area and future Main Street of Overlake for Redmond. Visually, the experience for the user is pretty special compared to your typical bridge crossing a freeway — it’s pretty unique.”