Students from Franklin High School and several WTS Northwest Region Conference attendees recently had the opportunity to tour the world’s longest floating bridge in Seattle, Washington. The unforgettable event, sponsored by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and HDR, provided the opportunity to not only tour this amazing engineering feat but also gave the high school girls the chance to network with experienced women in transportation.
The tour began with a meet-and-greet at the administration office with Denise Cieri, the Deputy Program Administrator. Denise gave an exciting presentation that focused on her role on the project, the purposes of building the new bridge, and challenges faced during the construction process, as well as her personal career path story. The group then headed to Evergreen Point Lid by bus for a tour of the construction site, including a tour into the bridge pontoons themselves. Since the bridge is still an active construction site (the decommissioning and removal of the old floating bridge from Lake Washington will be underway), personal protective equipment (PPE) including hard hat, goggles, gloves, and life vest were required and provided by HDR and WSDOT. The tour attendees also got a workout climbing seven flights of stairs so they could access the pontoons that keep the bridge afloat.
When the tour was complete, the participants had an understanding of what goes on in creating such a magnificent bridge, and the younger attendees were inspired to pursue careers in the field. And all the participants were thrilled to receive souvenirs from WSDOT and HDR!