SHINE, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reversed course Monday on a plan to close the Hood Canal Bridge for four weekends this summer for repairs.
The department will instead close the bridge intermittently in May, June and September. The bridge will close during overnight hours on weeknights and weekends from May 13-17 and 20-24 and June 10-14 and 17-21. Closure dates in September are expected to be announced later this summer.
The decision came after backlash from the community over economic impacts. The department initially chose summer weekends for the repairs to minimize the impact on commuters, but Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean said the loss of revenue during tourist season would be “catastrophic” for businesses.
WSDOT said it decided to do the work in three sections because it keeps the closure hours “more manageable” for residents and visitors even though it means more overall closures.
“The new dates strike the best balance between securing critical materials needed to make repairs to the bridge and installing those materials during calm weather when traffic volumes are lower,” Assistant Region Administrator of Construction MaryLou Shannon said in a statement.
During the closures, WSDOT crews will refurbish elements at the center of the bridge, which the department said are necessary for the bridge to continue operating. The work requires calm weather, which is why the department targeted late spring and early summer for the work.
In May and June, crews will restore the mechanisms that help guide the two halves of the bridge together, which will require boats and cranes in the water with the draw span open. In September, crews will update the mechanism that connected the halves and install new shock absorption.
The full May and June closure schedule is below:
May 13 to May 17
- 10 p.m. Saturday, May 13, to 10 a.m. Sunday, May 14
- 11 p.m. Monday, May 15, to 4 a.m. Tuesday, May 16
- 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, to 4 a.m. Wednesday, May 17
- 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, to 4 a.m. Thursday, May 18
May 20 to May 24
- 10 p.m. Saturday, May 20, to 10 a.m. Sunday, May 21
- 11 p.m. Monday, May 22, to 4 a.m. Tuesday, May 23
- 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, to 4 a.m. Wednesday, May 24
- 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, to 4 a.m. Thursday, May 25
June 10 to June 14
- 10 p.m. Saturday, June 10, to 10 a.m. Sunday, June 11
- 11 p.m. Monday, June 12, to 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 13
- 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, to 4 a.m. Wednesday, June 14
- 11 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 15
June 17 to June 21
- 10 p.m. Saturday, June 17, to 10 a.m. Sunday, June 18
- 11 p.m. Monday, June 19, to 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 20
- 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, to 4 a.m. Wednesday, June 21
- 11 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 22