Hood Canal project delayed again
Olympic Peninsula, WA - There’s been another delay in getting bids opened for construction of the new Hood Canal Bridge.
The Department of Transportation says it has delayed opening bids on the SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge east-half replacement and west-half retrofit project until June 18. The estimated $255 million floating bridge project includes the construction of the $15 to $17 million graving dock for building the pontoons and anchors for the bridge here in Port Angeles.
DOT officials say the bid opening was postponed to give WSDOT officials time to evaluate permit conditions received late last week. It’s expected those conditions, which are designed to lessen environmental impacts from the construction, might add to the overall cost estimates for the bridge and/or the graving dock.
Traffic restricted during Hood Canal Bridge inspections
The crews will reduce the bridge to single-lane alternating traffic from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Flaggers will guide motorists through the work zone.
DOT says the lane closure is necessary because the bridge structure is narrow and there’s not enough room for both traffic and the inspection equipment and workers.
Engineers use an “Under Bridge Inspection Truck” to get a good look at the structural condition of the bridge. That’s becoming an important task as the bridge reaches the end of its’ lifespan, especially the older, eastern half of the bridge, which is more than 40 years old.
Engineers are already well aware of some of the “problem areas” on the bridge structure, places where the concrete is breaking away and rebar is rusting and forcing its’ way out of the columns. What they want to spot are any additional problems that could cause safety, or operational problems with the bridge before it can be replaced in a couple of years.
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