Half-hour Hood Canal Bridge closure planned at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday

Peninsula Daily News

SHINE — The Hood Canal Bridge will be closed to traffic for about a half-hour Tuesday morning for a training exercise.

The bridge will be closed from 11:15 a.m. to about 11:45 a.m. while crews practice procedures for opening the bridge’s drawspan and evacuating the bridge deck if needed.

The annual training prepares crews for winter weather conditions and high winds.

The state Department of Transportation originally had set the closure for 10 a.m. Tuesday but changed the time to allow a local transit bus to cross first, state officials said.

A weather-related drawspan opening differs from normal marine drawspan openings, Transportation said.

In weather-related events, bridge maintenance crews close gates located on land on both sides of the bridge and activate a series of commands to close gates behind them as they evacuate the deck.

In a true weather-related bridge event, crews would then staff the gates until the drawspan was closed and the bridge reopened to traffic.

In severe storms, crews open the bridge’s drawspan to reduce the potential for damage caused by wind and wave pressure on the floating sections.

The general criteria for opening the drawspan are sustained winds of 35 mph or greater for more than 15 minutes, but bridge operators have the discretion to open the drawspan beyond those criteria based on conditions.

Crews monitor weather gauges located on the bridge.

Last modified: October 13. 2013 6:33PM
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