Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No wind, no problem

With the absence of wind, construction on the SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge blew forward this weekend.

Mild weather -- well mild compared to what we saw a little earlier this month -- allowed crews to line up the east and west draw spans this weekend and mark spots that will be drilled out so WSDOT can bolt huge rubber bumpers on the ends of the draw span pontoons.

These bumpers not only prevent damage when the two pontoons come together, but they also help align the sections when they do.

The connection and grouting between draw span assembly pontoon Q and the retrofitted pontoon section RST is complete and transition spans, which bridge gaps in the bridge, providing addition flex between the pontoons, the trusses and the fixed roadway approaches in Kitsap and Jefferson county.

Post-tensioning strands between pontoon sections RST and UVWX were stressed, or pulled together, to about 50 percent. Crews are bolting the expansion joints and pulling wire through conduit -- this electrical work is expected to wrap up this weekend.

Let's hope this break from Mother Nature's tantrums continues.


Anonymous said...

You mentioned earlier of a possile June 5th openning date. Is that still a possability? If so any idea what time of the day? Any chance of an earlier openning date? If everything went fantastic what would be the earliest possible openning date? The information on this page has been great.

Porttownsendite said...

Great news and hope re progress on the HCB. But.....there is also the culvert work on SR104! Not a lot gained if bridge is opened, but not SR104. Have heard nary a word re the culvert.

How about starting updates on the SR104 culvert work?

Anonymous said...

The Culvert was finished last weekend and now open!

Anonymous said...

@porttownsendite, I believe one of the earlier posts from a WSdot rep said that the 104 culvert project was done/very nearly done. (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4066443793237953440&postID=5910912316292738164)

As to the opening date, keep in mind that the WSdot reps have to be conservative in the estimate, if they came out here saying "It will open on June 1" and then a massive storm rolled in preventing any work from being finished for three days, there would be a massiev amount of anger if that June 1 date suddenly became June 5 or June 12 again. When they announced the June 5 moveup that must mean they are *extremely* ahead of schedule, such that they have plenty of additional slack time between now and that June 5 opening date, but they won't tell us that in case something goes wrong.

Joyce said...

culvert work is done and road is opened.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

The culvert project did indeed wrap up recently. When we say June 5, we don't go in with a time of day in mind.

Basically, we look at the work ahead and do our best to determine how long it will take, factoring in unforseen issues and everything else one might encounter on a project of this magnitude.

It is safe to say that we're in the home stretch. I'll be blogging about that a litle later today.

Jeff Rembaugh said...


How will you tell us when the bridge will be open?
Signs? Emails? Hand outs at the Park n Rides? the News? all of the above? The PR has been great so far so I just don't expect the bridge to be opened un announced.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Hello Jeff,

Don't worry. We'll be using pretty much every tool in the Communications shed to inform people as soon as we have a definite date -- expect e-mail, text messages, press releases, web updates, news coverage (TV, radio and print), and everything else ... stopping just shy of us sending a personalized message via courier pigeon.

mikijoyous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikijoyous said...

I'd like to express to the WSDOT my appreciation of the logistics and planning that went into providing transportation for those of us who've had to make the commute. The bus drivers, ferry and other WSDOT personnel have exhibited nothing but positive friendly attitudes for the duration of the closure and I've made the commute every Monday through Thursday. Thank you for making the inconvenience and long days tolerable and at times, even plesant. Kudos!
Regardless of what the opening day may be, how much longer will the ferries and the busses to and from the park and rides on both sides continue to run (for those of us with vehicles on either side)?

Starship said...

A question:
The canal is subject to tides. How do the anchors compensate for the movement of the bridge up and down with the tides?

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

The anchors don't, really. The cables that connect to the pontoons and the anchor galleries inside the pontoons are where the "compensation" occurs.

There are huge U-shaped openings that run through the anchors called hawse pipes. These are similar to the design used on the hulls of large ships for their anchors and anchor chains.

Enormous beads are attached to the anchor cables that loop through the hawse pipes, and basically work as a necklace of sorts to reduce friction and protect the anchors and cables.

The cables run all the way up to the anchor galleries in the pontoons where they end in huge sockets connected to hydraulic plates (there's a great graphic of these on our Web site, under Construction Progress, Anchor cable removal and replacement PDF).

These plates slide in a controlled movement down a large track, allowing the bridge to remain connected to the anchors and compensate for the tides.

Man, I've been hanging out with way too many engineers. Way too many.