Hood Canal Bridge engineers and other experts are available to offer information and updates about the innovative engineering techniques, progress of the construction work, the temporary closure of the bridge in May-June 2009 and more.
It's easy for a civic, school or other organization to book a presentation about the bridge and learn how the construction work affects the community.
To schedule a presentation for your group or organization, contact the Hood Canal Bridge office via e-mail or by calling (253) 305-6400.
The area around the Hood Canal Bridge is reknowned for its scenic beauty, and is a popular tourist destination. Between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day.
Tourism is important to the local economy and to ensure it is disrupted as little as possible during the closure, WSDOT is working closely with the chambers of commerce, visitors centers and other trade groups on issues that may affect access to the area.
During the two August 2005 bridge closures, business owners were well prepared and created innovative solutions to reduce the impact of the closures on their staff and customers. Some offered promotions and events to tie-in with the closures. Local hotels had special rates during the closures for staff of local business owners.
Plans are underway to implement ways for business owners to prepare for the six-week closure in May-June 2009. Be a part of this exciting process by participating in the 2009 closure planning opportunities. Contact Theresa Gren at (253) 305-6428 to find out how you can get involved.
Boaters will still be able to travel between the northern and the southern waters of the Hood Canal during the bridge closure in May-June 2009.
While some construction restrictions will be in place for the safety of the public, marine travelers will still have access beneath the raised transition spans on the east and west ends of the bridge. Larger vessels, ones that normally require bridge openings, will also be unhindered in their travels as the bridge's draw spans will be open throughout the project.
General Information for Mariners
Constructed from over 20 concrete floating pontoons that are linked together, the Hood Canal Bridge spans 1.5 miles and connects the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.
Boats can pass under the raised portions at either end. Vertical clearance, at high tide, is 35 feet at the west end and 55 feet at the east end. Clearance heights change with the 16.5-foot tidal swings.
Shoals and strong currents are hazards that are often present. Because of the shoals, the eastern high span is the recommended passage. The vicinity of Sisters Rocks, south of the bridge and off the west shore, is extremely hazardous as these two rocks dry at half tide. A lighted beacon is located on the southernmost rock, however, its neighbor is unmarked.
If traveling south along the west side of the canal, turn east immediately after passing under the bridge and hug the bridge until mid-span before turning south again. If traveling north, aim for mid-span until very close to the bridge, turn west and hug the bridge until turning north to go under the span.
If it is imperative that the bridge be opened for your vessel, call on VHF 13 or call (800) 419-9805. Please give at least one hour of notice for the bridge crew to arrive.
A concrete launch ramp, usable at low tides, lies north of the western end of the bridge. Because of anchor cables, boaters are restricted from anchoring in the vicinity.
Mariners are advised to stay at least 100 yards away from construction zones during all phases of construction.
Cyclists can choose to bike over the bridge with traffic or ride for free on a Jefferson Transit No. 7 bus. For schedule information on the Web, visit www.jeffersontransit.com/schedules/7.html or call (800) 371-0497.
Even for experienced cyclists, the bridge can be a challenge, especially during high winds or in moderate to heavy traffic. Most of the bridge is an uphill climb with a three foot shoulder on the east-half.
The bus route runs from Port Townsend to Poulsbo, and crosses the Hood Canal Bridge five times a day on weekdays and twice a day on weekends.
Up to the minute live traffic information and traffic cams of the Hood Canal Bridge can be accessed online. Call 511 or (800) 695-7623 for more opening information.
The bridge span opens for marine traffic as needed. Openings require the bridge to be closed to vehicle traffic and typically last between 20-40 minutes.
Traveler information including Puget Sound area traffic, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules, highway closures and more are available by calling 511 for up-to-date traffic information anywhere in the state. In the Seattle area, call (206) DOT-HIWY (368-4499).
WSDOT has a Web site with information for commercial vehicles that features information about oversize/overweight restrictions on all bridges in Washington state.
The Hood Canal Bridge will be closed to traffic for six weeks starting in May 2009. During that time WSDOT offers these travel tips:
- Allow extra time.
- Be aware of alternate routes,or alternate transportation, consider the ferry.
- Let those awaiting your arrival know that you may be delayed.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.
- Allow safe haven for vehicles that need to pass.
- Use the slow-vehicle turnouts if you are holding up traffic.
- Avoid blocking driveways and side streets.
- Use care in construction zones – slow down and "Give ‘em a Brake".
- Be patient – we're all in this together!
For more information, contact the Hood Canal Bridge Office, (877) 595-HCB2 (4222) with any questions or suggestions.