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State changes plans, nixes long weekend closures

SHINE — Repairs to the floating bridge linking the Olympic Peninsula to Kitsap County will no longer require closing the bridge for four weekends during peak summer travel season.

Instead, state transportation officials announced on April 10 that the repair work to the bridge and subsequent closures will happen at night in May, June and September.

“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,” said MaryLou Shannon, state Department of Transportation’s assistant region administrator of construction.

Instead of four long-term weekend closures of the bridge, State transporation officials decided separate the work into three phases, and while it will result in more overnight bridge closures, it also allows the contractor to begin making the repairs in late spring and early summer — when weather conditions are typically more favorable — and keeps the closure hours more manageable for residents and visitors alike, state officials said.

Weather permitting, the state Highway 104/Hood Canal Bridge will close in May and June at night on these dates/times:

• May 13-17 (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; and, 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, to 4 a.m. Thursday, May 18

• May 20-24 (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; and, 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, to 4 a.m. Thursday, May 25)

• June 10-14 (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; and, 11 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 15)

• June 17-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; and, 11 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 22).

Crews working for the state are refurbishing “critical elements” at the center of the bridge. The project is necessary to ensure the bridge can continue to operate, serving both vehicle and marine traffic, state transporation officials said this week.

In September, workers will update the mechanism that securely connects both halves of the bridge and install new shock absorbers. Work on these weather-sensitive systems won’t begin until Monday, Sept. 10, and may include both weekday and weekend nighttime closures. State officials said they will announce the dates and times for this work later this summer.

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