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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why did divots develop on the tracks of the HCB draw span?
A. The bridge’s steel rollers are in constant contact with the steel track and in constant motion. Tidal influences, waves and wind have worn the steel down and caused divots in the track.

Q. Why does the bridge have to be serviced now? May is the beginning of tourist season.
A. The work is weather-dependent and May is traditionally the first month of the year that the Hood Canal area gets decent weather.
Upping the amps on the drive motors is only a band aid. This problem needs to be resolved before a larger issue is created as running the drive motors at this level reduces their usable life as bridge components.

Q. Why didn’t WSDOT repair the tracks when they retrofitted the west half in 2009?
A. Three years ago, the divots were not creating a problem.

Q. Were the divots present in 2009?
A. The divots were present in 2009 and have been developing for almost 30 years. They were not an operational issue until recently.

Q.  Were the steel tracks replaced in 2009, or just the guide rollers?
A. Just the guide rollers - the steel tracks are almost 30 years old and were installed on the replaced west-half in 1983.

Q. Doesn’t BPO regularly check this bridge? How did they miss the divots in recent inspections?
The west-half divots have been noted in past inspections, in 2008 and 2010, but only recently became a problem. In its 2010 report, BPO recommended the indentations be repaired.

Q. Are there any divots forming on the east half?
A. No divots have been found on the bridge’s east half but BPO will continue to watch for their development in subsequent inspections.

Q. How long will these repairs last?
A. Approximately 15 to 20 years

Q. What if the bridge doesn’t open at 10:45 p.m. as scheduled? Will WSDOT skip that opening until the next one scheduled?
A. WSDOT will evaluate the time to the next scheduled opening and traffic volumes to make a decision based on least impacts to traffic.

Q. If the work is scheduled to continue until completed, how long could the nightly interruptions last?
A. WSDOT estimates completing the work in 4-6 nights barring inclement weather, and recommends travelers prep for two weeks as a precaution for ‘worst-case’ scenario.