DOT expecting to firm up bridge closure dates

Agency says it will decide by early April on summer shutdowns

PORT ANGELES — The state Department of Transportation could decide by early April on firm dates for the four summer weekend closures of the Hood Canal Bridge, Olympic Region Administrator Steve Roark told the Clallam County Commissioners.

“We are working with communities to identify the best times,” Roark told commissioners Monday.

“The challenge we have is there is no single weekend, or set of weekends, to take the bridge out of service,” he said.

“We hope to lock those dates in fairly soon, maybe early April. The earliest is the late July timeframe, so we are really struggling to figure out the best weekends,” Roark said.

Port Angeles City Manager Nathan West discussed the importance of timing.

“I can’t emphasize enough that we need to get those dates as soon as possible,” West said. “We need to work as a community with Jefferson County. We can’t afford to give different perspectives on dates. We need to come to an agreement.”

According to the state Department of Transportation website, travelers should expect up to four total weekend closures of the Hood Canal Bridge, from 11 p.m. Friday night to 4 a.m. Monday. Crews will also require a series of night intermittent closures to all travelers.

The work will not affect marine traffic passing through the bridge.

Roark displayed a graphic showing 19 events in Clallam and Jefferson counties between the Sequim Irrigation Festival, set for May 6-7 with potential attendance of 2,000 people, 250 from out of town, to the Port Townsend Film Festival, set for Sept. 21-24, with potential attendance of 10,000 people, 6,000 from out of town.

It also included Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends, with potential attendance of 50,000 people.

DOT’s Olympic Region covers seven counties: Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce and Thurston.

The 2023 construction projects planned in the Clallam and Jefferson counties are the following:

• Center lock rehabilitation on the Hood Canal Bridge.

• Elwha River Bridge replacement on U.S. Highway 101.

• Roundabout at state Highway 20 and Kearney Street.

• Roundabout at state Highway 104 and state Highway 19.

• Emergency repairs on state Highway 112 at the Pysht River.

• Fish barrier removal on U.S. Highway 101 at May Creek in the vicinity of Dowans Creek Road.

• Fish barrier removal at Indian Creek on U.S. Highway 101.

• Fish barrier removal at Leland Creek and unnamed tributaries on U.S. Highway 101.

• Fish barrier removal at state Highway 19 and state Highway 104.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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