Microsoft will pay more than $33 million to fund a project that includes a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across state Route 520. The bridge will connect the west side of Microsoft’s campus — home to the company’s Xbox and devices businesses — to a future light rail station at the Overlake Transit Center on the east side of the highway.
It would be the largest amount ever spent by the company on a single transportation project, according to a report overnight by the Seattle Times. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed the details of the plan this morning.
The new bridge would open in 2020, three years before Sound Transit is slated to bring light rail to the Overlake Transit Center. It would give employees on bikes and foot direct access to the transit center without needing to navigate the crosswalks across the roadways at the existing overpass just north of the transit center.
It’s the latest in a series of steps by the company to link the original east side of its campus — which includes the offices of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other top execs — with new development on the west side of the highway. A few years ago, Microsoft funded half the cost of a $36.5 million car and pedestrian bridge across 520 to the south of the newly planned bridge, with federal stimulus dollars also contributing to that project.
Here’s a Sound Transit map showing the location and general outline of the planned pedestrian and bicycle bridge bridge to the transit center. (Click for larger image.)