Hood Canal Bridge crews cross more major milestones
May 20, 2009 · Updated 9:23 AM
SHINE – Shrouded in fog, the new east truss and draw span pontoons were floated in to the Hood Canal Bridge early Monday morning, completing the project's major placement components.
The draw span was installed and east truss set within an hour of each other on a day the Washington State Department of Transportation called "milestone packed."
“This was a banner day for the Hood Canal Bridge Project,” said Washington State Department of Transportation project principal engineer Dave Ziegler. “The new east half of the bridge is really starting to take shape.”
The 596-foot-long draw span assembly is scheduled to be joined with a bridge pontoon this week, completing the placement of the three new east-half pontoon sections, the DOT said in a press release.
The east truss — at 280-foot-long, 70-foot-wide, 40-foot-tall — was lifted into place by three derrick barges. The setting took about three hours to complete, as the truss tips the scales at 1.6 million pounds, according to the DOT.
“We’ve placed the three pontoon sections and the east and west trusses,” Ziegler said. “People who are looking at the east half of the bridge now are almost seeing it in its completed form, but it’s very important that everyone understands that there is still a great deal of work yet to come.”
Complex pontoon joint work remains, and can only be done when winds clock in at less than 15 miles per hour, the DOT said. Crews must also set drop-in spans, connect them to the pontoons and post-tension the pontoons – meaning pull them together – to stabilize and strengthen the east half as a whole.