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Hood Canal Bridge closures loom

SHINE – The Hood Canal Bridge will see two traffic closures in the next two weeks. During the closures, the Washington state Department of Transportation and contractors from Kiewit-General will be adding water to the interior cells of the pontoons. This will make the pontoons heavier to lower their position in the canal.

Closures are scheduled from 2-2:30 p.m. on July 31 and Aug. 7. During the 30-minute closures WSDOT and K-G crews will test the bridge’s west draw span to ensure it will match up correctly with the new east-half draw span assembly when it is installed in May-June 2009.

The Hood Canal Bridge project is 80 percent complete.

“We know highway closures are inconvenient for drivers, especially on the Hood Canal Bridge, so we appreciate their patience as we work to ready the bridge for its new east half,” Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in a prepared statement. “The good news is that we are nearly finished with pontoon construction and we’re closing in (on) our wrapping this project up next summer.”

The last of the 14 new pontoons will leave Concrete Technology Corp. in Tacoma later this week. The new east half of the bridge will be floated into place next spring, closing the bridge to traffic from May to June 2009. The completed bridge will be safer and more reliable. For more information, visit www.HoodCanalBridge.com.

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