SHINE — The state Department of Transportation once again canceled plans to close the Hood Canal Bridge to vehicular traffic overnight on Tuesday, today and Thursday this week.
This time, the closure is due to staffing shortages, according to the notice at www.wsdot.com/travel/real-time/alerts/road/104 posted late Tuesday morning.
DOT has rescheduled the closures for next week.
This is the fifth time DOT has scheduled five-hour overnight closures since the week before Christmas. During the closures, not even emergency vehicles can get across.
Every other cancellation was due to adverse weather.
This one is due to crew availability.
Here is the schedule for next week:
• 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25 to 4 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26.
• 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26 to 4 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 27.
• 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27 to 4 a.m. Friday, Jan. 28.
The closures are to allow crews to replace thick industrial-sized rubber bumpers that are affixed to the end of each half of the bridge, according to Doug Adamson, DOT spokesperson. The bumpers help prevent wear on the concrete floating pontoons.
DOT had intended to have the work completed last spring/summer, but supply chain issues delayed the installation, he said.
Workers use a floating work platform to reach the areas needed to install new bumpers while the draw span is closed to through-traffic. So calm waters, light winds and favorable tides are required, Adamson said.
He said that DOT schedules work a week out based on the forecast at the time, and that it will continue to schedule the overnight closures according to the forecast until the work is done.
To discover if the closures have been canceled in real time, dial 5-1-1, see www.wsdot.com/traffic or download the WSDOT mobile app. Information for doing so is at www.wsdot.wa.gov/travel/travel-information-phone. Email alerts also are available.