WSDOT and contractor Kiewit-General of Poulsbo are scheduled to complete daytime ballast tests by mid-January. Crews continue to add and remove pontoon ballast weight, changing the way the west half draw span floats so it matches up with other pontoons and mechanisms on the bridge. To ensure accuracy this work must occur during slack tide – which translates into daytime bridge closures for motorists most weekdays.
In early-January, WSDOT is also scheduled to continue intermittent 90-minute closures from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday-Friday. These closures will allow the contractor to complete functional testing, which includes approving items on a 90-plus page, 1,400-item operational checklist.
Additional bridge openings for marine vessels will still occur as needed. Drivers should plan ahead and anticipate heavy holiday traffic going to and from the Olympic Peninsula.
Overnight work and functional testing sets the stage for 20 cycle tests of the west draw span in late-January. The 20 test openings and closings of the west draw span must be error-free, meaning that even if there are 19 perfect tests and a problem on the final one, the contractor must start over.
If everything goes as planned, these tests take about eight to 10 hours. Once they are finished, Kiewit-General’s work on the bridge is complete.
For more information on the Hood Canal Bridge Project and to get real-time traffic information, visit http://www.hoodcanalbridge.com/, call 511 and check variable message signs near the bridge.
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