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Hood Canal Bridge closed this weekend

Hood Canal Bridge site manager Ray Arnold points out the 30-inch by 4-foot rollers that will be used to remove the existing spans that connect the floating bridge to land. The rollers will also be used to install the newly constructed roads on both the west and east ends of the bridge during this month’s closures.  - Photo by Tiffany Royal
Hood Canal Bridge site manager Ray Arnold points out the 30-inch by 4-foot rollers that will be used to remove the existing spans that connect the floating bridge to land. The rollers will also be used to install the newly constructed roads on both the west and east ends of the bridge during this month’s closures.
— image credit: Photo by Tiffany Royal

HOOD CANAL BRIDGE — It’s only been two years since construction began to repair the floating bridge that connects Kitsap and Jefferson counties. While Washington State Department of Transportation officials said they have been trying their best to keep the impacts to drivers to a minimum, construction is, well, construction and with it comes traffic delays and in some cases, closures.

WSDOT is gearing up for its first set of this month’s two anticipated closures of the Hood Canal Bridge, one of which began this week at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 and continues to 4 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15. The second closure will be from 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 to 4 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25.

During the closures, crews will be replacing approaches on both ends of the bridge. By the end of the project, which is expected to be finished in 2009, there will be a wider east-half floating section, plus new approach sections and transition trusses on both the east and west ends. In addition, the western half will be widened to allow for continuous eight-foot shoulders across the entire length of the bridge, matching the new east half.

Besides crews working day in and day out to build these new roads and make upgrades to the bridge in this first phase, WSDOT officials have been working with the public in an attempt to keep them as informed as possible and lessen the impact to drivers. But it hasn’t been without its hitches.

Roll out the old, roll in the new

While it is obvious to drivers there is major construction going on with the narrower-than-usual driving lanes and the presence of the familiar bright orange vests, what motorists are likely unaware of it the work that is being done just below their line of sight.

Since early spring, crews from the Poulsbo-based general contractor Kiewit

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