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It’s your last chance to drive on the original 520 floating bridge

A federal agency found the new 520 Bridge to be "structurally deficient." (WSDOT)

It’s your last day to drive on the original 520 floating bridge. The bridge closes for good at 11 p.m. Friday as the state transitions the eastbound lanes to the new bridge.

Both the new and the old bridges will be closed all weekend as the eastbound lanes are connected.

“It’s kind of sad to see the last vehicles heading across Lake Washington,” said Steve Peer with the Washington State Department of Transportation. “But it’s gotta happen.

Related: A tour of the new westbound SR 520 bridge

“They’re going to use just about every hour of that closure because there is a lot of transition work.”

Crews need both bridges for staging. That’s why the entire corridor will be shut down over the lake, between Medina and Montlake.

What drivers will notice the most on Monday, when the eastbound lanes open, is that it’s more of a straight shot into Medina. There is no more jog in the lanes as you transition.

Just because the new bridge is open doesn’t mean the work is over.

“This isn’t the end of it,” Peer said.

The state will begin decommissioning the old 1960s bridge right away. On Monday, they’ll begin to take steps to start recycling the structure, Peer said. They’re going to demo the concrete roadway and support columns and then float the old pontoons out of the lake.

By the end of the year, the old bridge will be nothing but a memory.

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