Thursday, January 20, 2022

Battling the weather to get Hood Canal Bridge work done

Update: May 5, 2022

Four total weekend closures of the SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge have been rescheduled to 2023. No total weekend closures are planned for 2022. The closures will occur sometime between spring and early fall 2023. As soon as they are scheduled, WSDOT will announce the closures via and WSDOT Hood Canal Bridge email alerts.

By Doug Adamson

So what's up with these repeated night closures on the State Route 104 Hood Canal Bridge? Why are they scheduled only to be cancelled and then rescheduled again? Why is weather-sensitive work done during the winter?

If you've asked these questions, you're not alone.

First an important note. The SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge is unique. There are none like it in the world. The span was built specifically to fit the area that features extremely deep water, occasional powerful winds and strong tides. The floating bridge has a large draw span that physically retracts the driving surface of the bridge to make room for boats and other marine traffic.

The Hood Canal Bridge is unique, carrying traffic over extremely deep water that sees powerful winds
and strong tides, necessitating regular maintenance.

It requires year 'round maintenance to stay in good working order. The maintenance includes everything from electrical work to removing rust. The span also needs regular construction. Parts and machinery wear out. This is especially true since the span is in a harsh marine environment. Since the bridge is unique, many worn out mechanical portions of the bridge need to be built.

Current construction at the bridge bolsters the system that is essential for draw span operations. The bridge has elements that keep the bridge aligned when both halves come together after it is closed to traffic. The system also keeps both halves together when it is open to traffic.

Part of the effort includes replacing thick industrial sized rubber bumpers. The bumpers connect to the end of each half of the bridge and serve a very important role in helping to prevent wear and tear on the concrete floating pontoons.

Bumpers connect to the end of each half of the Hood Canal Bridge, helping to prevent
wear and tear to the floating pontoons.

We had anticipated this phase of work would have been completed last spring/summer.  But supply chain issues delayed the installation until after the favorable weather timeframe.

Contractor crews need calm water, light winds, and favorable tides. Workers use a floating work platform to reach these areas while the draw span is closed to traffic.

The work is scheduled a week out based on the forecast at that time. As you know, our Pacific Northwest weather is fickle and can change in short order. This means we will continue to find weather windows until we can complete the work.

Remember, this is one phase of the construction. During summer and fall 2022, travelers can expect up to four total weekend closures of the SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge. While not yet scheduled, the weekend closures will extend from 11 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday. Crews will also need a series of night intermittent closures.

Four full weekend closures of the Hood Canal Bridge for further maintenance
will happen later this spring or summer.

Stay plugged in

As we continue to work through the challenges, we ask travelers to stay informed. Real time information is available via and on our app.  Get advance notification via email alerts.

We appreciate continued patience as we work through many issues to complete the work. We understand the vital role this bridge plays for everyone who relies on it. We strive to keep this key span in good working order for everyone who relies on this bridge.


Unknown said...

We live in Paradise Bay,on the way to Port Ludlow and appreciate every thing you do to keep the bridge operational. We choose to live in Jefferson County,so if the bridge is closer to vehicles occasionally, so be it.
Thank you for the WSDOT, and what you all do.
Craig Smith
91Shore Drive
Port Ludlow Wa 98365

Jim in the Olympic Penninsula said...

Thank you for keeping us informed. The Hood Canal Bridge is a vital lifeline to our area and a unique piece of infrastructure. I appreciate the the challenges you deal with every day. Keep up the good work! Keep that bear dancing!

Alise said...

The Hood Canal Bridge is an essential infrastructure that gives us safe passage between Jefferson and Kitsap counties. Without question, it needs to be in excellent condition. So, THANK YOU WSDOT for all you do to keep it well maintained and safe for all of us!

Alise Moss Vetica
Port Townsend, WA

Unknown said...

My husband and I live in Sequim.. and I have to travel to Silverdale to chemo treatments and luck has been on my side with NO closures to meet my appointment time.. THANK YOU
I can't imagine the difficult work for the crews.. Yes it can be disruptive at times.. but I still thank you

Unknown said...

when is the round about at the hood canal bridge and paradise bay road going to start?

mike porter
85 conifer court
port ludlow,

Blonda said...

I addition to all above, I appreciate the communication that helps us understand, gives us timely alerts (there's an app, WSDOT) Thanks for all you do!!

WSDOT said...

Thank you for your inquiry. Construction to improve safety along State Route 104 and Shine-Paradise Bay Roads is slated to begin in spring 2023. Further north at SR 19 (Beaver Valley Road), construction will begin in fall of 2022. Improvements to both intersections is expected to wrap up fall of 2023. During construction, travelers can expect temporary reduced speeds, shifted lanes and intermediate lane closures as crews build the roundabouts in phases. Crews will maintain one-lane in both directions as much as possible. Any highway closures will be announced in advance. More information about this project is available online:

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