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WSDOT Releases First Sustainability Report for SR 520

If you have driven across the 520 floating bridge in the last 6 months or so, you have seen the tugboats, derricks, and pontoons floating alongside. More recently, you may have seen the support columns for the new bridge taking shape on the east side. But one thing you cannot see is the extensive sustainability effort underway—the result of several years of planning and design to identify core sustainability values for the project, as well as mechanisms for measuring success.

That effort is detailed in the first SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program Sustainability Report, released in January 2014. The report highlights program-wide sustainability values, known as the ‘SR 520 Golden Thread of Sustainability’, as well as efforts underway on several coordinated projects: the Floating Bridge and Landings Project, Medina to SR 202: Eastside Transit and HOV Project, and Pontoon Construction Project. The report also covers the history of these initiatives, as well as plans for integrating sustainability into future projects.

The Floating Bridge and Landings Project, in particular, is covered in detail. WSDOT used this project to pilot a new approach to expand and measure the performance of their sustainability efforts. For the first time, WSDOT included a requirement in the design-build contract for a Sustainable Practices Manager, responsible for drafting and implementing a Sustainable Practices Plan for project design and construction. O’Brien & Company has served as Sustainable Practices Manager since 2011, as part of the Kiewit/General/Manson (KGM) design-build team.  For more details on O’Brien & Company’s role as Sustainable Practices Manager, see our project page.

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