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Transportation

The World's First Floating Light Rail

Seattle built some of the longest highway bridges that float on water. Soon, one of them will carry a train system, too.
Seattle will start construction next month for the world's first light rail on a floating bridge.
Seattle will start construction next month for the world's first light rail on a floating bridge.Sound Transit/YouTube

Seattle already has the world’s longest floating bridge, and next month, it’s going one step further: building the world’s first floating light rail line.

The undertaking is part of a $3.7 billion project to build a light rail corridor linking Seattle to the city of Bellevue on the east side of Lake Washington by 2023. It’s a tricky endeavor; the floating bridge has to withstand the pressure of two pairs of 300-ton trains traveling at speeds of up to 55 mph. To make it happen, the transit agency Sound Transit is turning to cutting-edge earthquake technology. With 50,000 riders expected daily, there’s absolutely no room for mistakes, the Seattle Times reports: