SHINE — The state Department of Transportation has once again scheduled overnight closures of the Hood Canal Bridge for three days this week.
This is the fifth time DOT has scheduled five-hour overnight closures to vehicular traffic since the week before Christmas. During the closures, not even emergency vehicles will be allowed to cross the span on state Highway 104 which connects the North Olympic Peninsula to Seattle and points east.
Adverse weather was the reason cited for most of the cancellations. Last week, the closures were cancelled because of crew availability, DOT said.
The agency canceled the other closures 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.
Here is the schedule for next week:
• 11 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday.
• 11 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday.
• 11 p.m. Thursday to 4 a.m. Friday.
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 weather 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.