UPDATED: Weather delays Hood Canal bridge truss removal

The Hood Canal Bridge, the longest floating bridge over salt water in the world, closed Friday for six weeks of construction. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
The Hood Canal Bridge, the longest floating bridge over salt water in the world, closed Friday for six weeks of construction.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Rough weather delayed the removal of a 480-ton east truss on Sunday, the third day of the Washington State Department of Transportation's Hood Canal Bridge construction project. A posting on the project's daily blog reported time and safety factors also came into play, so crew leaders decided to push the truss removal to today, if weather allows. The truss will be lifted and placed onto a barge by the strongest derrick barge on the West Coast, the DOT said in a press release.

DOT spokesman Jamie Swift described the construction scene over the weekend, detailing collected efforts to complete rusted pontoon replacement and road widening within a six-week time slot.

"The beeping of a fork-lift in reverse, the reverberation of jack-hammers pounding away at concrete, and the whir of the cable saws unjoining the pontoons are just a few of the sights and sounds that not-so subtly assault your senses," Swift wrote. "Even with all of these sounds, the workers maintain an uncanny, singular concentration on their own individual tasks. I couldn't help but notice yesterday, when a crane pulled the transition span out, raised it into the sky, and lowered it onto a barge - very few workers stopped to admire the impressive power of the crane and skill of the crane operator.

"They had work to do and they are on a tight schedule."

One milestone has already been met: before 7 a.m. on May 1, the first day of the closure, crews removed the east half draw pontoon. The 471-foot piece is now on its way to Sidney, B.C., where it will become part of a new marina pier.

UPDATE: The east truss was successfully removed today, and will be salvaged and recycled by project contractor Kiewit-General, according to a DOT release. It and the west truss will be replaced with trusses that are 30 feet wider, and the only of their kind in Washington.

Check back to for ongoing project updates.

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