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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

February 15, 2013 at 6:19 PM

A not-so-quiet stroll to Mercer Island

Sketched Feb. 6, 2013

The side-by-side Interstate 90 floating bridges were built for cars and buses, but if you’re not in a hurry, I recommend a visit on foot to gain a new perspective on these transportation wonders.

If you start on the pedestrian lane along the north span, you’ll recognize the portal over the westbound lanes — that’s what you see when you drive into Seattle. The original art-deco portal is another story. Besides quick glances in the rearview mirror as you drive east, there is little time to appreciate it. Those semicircular tunnels handled traffic in both directions when the bridge opened in 1940. I was able to make a sketch from 35th Avenue South.

Despite the loud traffic, I relished the 50-minute walk to Mercer Island and back. I spotted a great blue heron perched on a buoy, flapping its wings at the wind, took a peek at some waterfront mansions, and watched cyclists zoom by.

While the debate on tolling continues (the state is accepting public comments through next Friday), enjoy driving — and walking — I-90 for free!

Web Extra
Here are more sketches from my walk:

A view of the floating bridges with Mercer Island in the background. Drawn from the viewpoint at Lake Washington Boulevard.

The viewpoint is right above one of the longest pedestrian tunnels I’ve ever seen.

Walking at brisk pace, I arrived to Mercer Island in 24 minutes. You can still see some of Seattle’s tallest skyscrapers from that side of Lake Washington. I noted the Columbia Tower to the right of my sketch.

Have you walked or biked across the bridge?
I invite you to share your comments here or on my Facebook page at facebook.com/seattlesketcher.

0 Comments | More in Bridges, Transportation | Topics: Mercer Island

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