News

Hood Canal Bridge may reopen sooner than later

There may be truth to the rumor that the Hood Canal Bridge might reopen a week ahead of schedule.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and its contractor, Kiewit General, stated in a news release that workers completed the “first major weather-dependent joining operation” Thursday.

While WSDOT is optimistic the work will be complete by June 8, Becky Hixson, a spokesperson for the project, said the date is weather-reliant. The project began May 1, with a target completion date of June 12. Three days of high winds delayed work, pushing the completion date back to June 15.

“We want to give our contractor and WSDOT crews a lot of credit for working through difficult weather and complicated technical issues to get us to this point,” Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said. “This has been a very difficult project that required highly technical and precise work and we are pleased that things have gone well.”

Workers held the new pontoons in place with special fittings on old anchor cables. Extra tugboats were used to allow the crews to work through the rough weather. During nicer weather, pontoon installation was accelerated and crews were shifted to begin new tasks when they finished jobs before they were scheduled for completion, the news release stated.

“What really put us in a good position to know we will finish early was getting past joining pontoons UVWX and RST,” Hood Canal Bridge Principal Engineer Dave Ziegler said. “Despite wind and weather, we found a way to get the job done.”

Hixson also said come Monday, WSDOT will have a firmer grasp of when the bridge will reopen, as several major phases of construction are slated for the weekend.

To watch the progress of the Hood Canal Bridge project, go to www.HoodCanalBridge.com.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 15 edition online now. Browse the archives.