By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News
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A Carlsborg-based Construction crew on Monday was laying the first concrete asphalt of about 5,000 yards to be used for the bus stop, at which Jefferson Transit shuttles will take passengers about two miles east to South Point Road, then south to the end of South Point Road at the western edge of Hood Canal.
At that point south of the bridge, they will catch passenger-only ferries to Lofall on the Kitsap County side of Hood Canal, then take Kitsap Transit shuttles during the expected six weeks the floating bridge is out.
A similar size park-and-ride lot has been completed in Port Gamble to serve the Kitsap County side.
Gravel from pit
Only about 1.5 acres of the Jefferson lot will be paved using concrete the company makes at site, said Fred Hill Materials Project Manager Dan Baskins.
The rest will be graveled from rock mined and processed at the Shine Pit, he said.
Baskins said he has secured a permit to bring in a coffee vendor for commuters at the site.
"They've been working on it for about a month," said Becky Hixson, Hood Canal Bridge project business manager.
The work was focused on an area that will become disabled-accessible parking, portable toilets and the bus stop.
The lot is adjacent to the pit's gravel processing facilities about a mile south of state Highway 104.
The Shine Pit park-and-ride project is about $890,000 of the overall $10 million state Department of Transportation budget for temporary ground and passenger-ferry transportation when the bridge is out.
An additional $800,000 is allocated for the temporary ferry terminal at South Point for leveling a bus stop and turn-around area, striping and crosswalks across Beach Road to the ferry dock.
"They will bring in a ramp and floats before the closure, attaching it to the existing dock," Hixson said.
A request for proposals will be sought to land a passenger-ferry operator, she said.
"We will be putting up a closure countdown sign at the bridge site on the Kitsap side," she said.
A ceremony is being planned to start the electronic clock intended to make motorists aware the bridge is closing May 1 so contractor, Kiewit-General of Poulsbo, can replace the east-half floating sections and transition trusses on both ends of the bridge.
It is a $470.9 million project.
Fabrication and assembly of steel bridge parts such as transition spans, pontoon hatches, draw span machinery and draw span hydraulic components is 94 percent finished, Hixson said.
That work is scheduled for completion by February, prior to moving in the completed bridge components after the crumbling old eastern half is towed out.
Connecting the individual pontoons together into three large sections, building elevated roadway sections on top of the pontoons, installing all electrical and mechanical parts and testing the draw span retractable assembly units is 69 percent done and is scheduled for completion by March.
The final step in May-June is floating the pontoons from Seattle to the bridge site, putting them in place, connecting them together and installing the transition spans.
Port Townsend-Jefferson County Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at jeff.chew@peninsuladaily news.com.