Monday, June 1, 2009

Draw span tests scheduled to proceed Tuesday

Fine-tuning work continues as WSDOT and Kiewit-General prepare to run 20 perfect openings of the bridge tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2. These tests are required to show that the bridge meets the operational standards for providing a safe and reliable draw span.

It's very important to note that these tests are scheduled to run tomorrow, the operative word being "scheduled." As with any major construction project, there are some unexpected kinks. This project is no different and given the electrical, mechanical and hydraulic components that must work in sync perfectly, right now we've got our best irons out.

Adjustments are still being made that will determine whether we can proceed as planned tomorrow. Your safety is our number one priority, and we're not going to open a bridge that isn't reliable.

All that said, the successful 20 cycle tests are one of the last things we have to do to reopen and give you back your bridge. We thank you again for your patience.


Mark said...

Do you think that the bridge will open this weekend if you have a perfect 20 for 20 test first time.


Anonymous said...

"...20 cycle tests are one of the last things we have to do to reopen..."
I think this has been asked elsewhere already, but what else is left! Currently the project homepage milestone list has four items marked as incomplete:

Complete barrier installation
Complete joint work, grouting, post-tensioning
Complete utility connections
Open bridge to traffic

None of these four things is "test draw span 20 times". I'm not saying you shouldn't test the draw span 20 times, but why is it not on the milestone list? It seems like a pretty major and concrete milestone to me. When you say "one of the last things" is this the only hidden milestone not on the list, or are there other things left as well?

I'm sure that people are going to come here and comment on this post being negative and whiny, but I do not see asking for the official information source on this project to actually provide valid, concrete information about the remaining work. Not a down to the minute opening time, just the real list of what is left to do. A news post on the DOT homepage I found earlier today ( listed four in progress operations, only two of which seem to map to milestones. Obviously you don't want to waste everyone's time by listing out the exact number of bolts left to tighten, but it is obvious from earlier posts ( that there is a fair amount of information being passed to you by the workers that is not being passed on to the public, at least not through this web based outlet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for the hard work and good efforts.
Mike from Sequim said...

I'm not sure why the 20-cycles weren't listed, honestly, but as soon as they're OK'd, we're pretty much done and could realistically open to traffic that day, according to our guys in the know.

Gary said...

Great job regardless .....Thank you all !

Gary said...

Great job...Thanks to all.

Anonymous said...

The host of this blog is truly inspiring! You are being such a gentleman to the pigs that continue to pressure you with questions that you can't answer! Thank you for your professionalism and also, COLOSSAL thank yous to the entire hood canal bridge reconstruction team! This is truly the most streamline construction event I have ever heard of!

Anonymous said...

And a kiss for you as well Joe, for that beautiful last comment!

NNeelix said...


First I wanted to say great job on the communication and project planning. I work in the IT world and very much get how difficult it can be getting your dependencies and milestones to line up. On a project this size it is just amazing work. Give your PM's a big high five for me.

Also I hope you don't mind me making a suggestion on shuttle and ferry end dates but instead of ending the service 2 days after the opening why not make it conditional on ridership.

As many have pointed out they have made arrangement's for a 6 week closure, and anything less (or more) could take more then a couple of days to straighten out.


Anonymous said...

Irwin, thanks. This is the information that I was looking for. I _GET_ that the 20 openings may not go smoothly and there could be a setback, I simply had wanted to know what the BEST CASE scenario was if all went well. Not sure why you couldn't have included this information in earlier posts, but I'm glad it's here finally. I will not COUNT on the bridge opening Tues or Weds, but at least I now know it's a POSSIBILITY.

Now...can you please address the question of how many days "notice" before the Edmonds-Pt. Townsend ferry will cease to run? I've heard everything from NO notice (ie. the ferry will not run the day the bridge opens) to 3 days notice. Would you kindly clarify? Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

(to be read sarcastically): Yeah . . . why aren't the blueprints posted, too? There's just too much information left out! I would never have thought you'd need to TEST the bridge before people drive on it or it gets opened for boat traffic. Without a thorough outline I'm at a complete loss. Really neglectful, there, these tragic omissions.
-P.S. in PT said...

Boy you folks are keeping me busy. Where to begin?

Let's see, first I'll be updating the online checklist today. We have several people who do this and and I'm not sure why the 20 cycle tests weren't included but will be fixing it as soon as I can confirm a few items.

Second, all these kisses... my wife will definitely wonder what the heck is going on durng my 10-days in Port Gamble.

Third, as soon as I get the latest and greatest, it will be my pleasure to let everyone know where we're at with this project and when it's definitely going to be opened.

Finally, the 20 draw span tests are pretty much the icing on the cake, we might have to add a candle or two, but -- barring the completely unexpected -- nothing too time consuming will be left to complete.

Anonymous said...

@P.S. in PT, the milestone list already included one "test draw span" entry, flagged as complete on 5/24/09. These tests today are in addition to tests that have already been done. I get that you don't really care if the bridge opens ever again based on your previous posts, but some of us do have a need to travel.

@the "you are whiny get a life" poster, I'm sorry I didn't realize that needing to travel from the Seattle area to the Peninsula classified me as "having no life". I need to deal with moving out of my current housing situation this weekend, I have made plans for the bridge being closed as well as plans for the bridge being open, and I'm trying to get as much information ahead of time as possible so I can know what plan to use. Frankly I'm actually a little surprised your asinine comment was approved by the moderators.

Anonymous said...

Good Grief you want the Blue Prints to the Hood Canal Bridge Project.

Yeah right if they do release the Blue Prints it would be very Fool Hardy simply because it can or could create a serious security issue as to the safety of the Hood Canal Bridge. It would give terrorist a complete view of the bridge and help them plan an attack on the bridge possibly bottling up a major part of our national defense.

So as member of our local emergency preparedness team I that they are never released.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss this blog. I laugh every time I get on. Joe... you have the patience of a saint! You do deserve lots of hugs and kisses.
Laughing in Ludlow!

Anonymous said...

Pls advise re: how many days notice between the opening of the bridge and the cessation of alternate transportatin -- the Edmonds/Pt Townsend ferry.

Thanks in advance.

Scott said...

Wow, there are some cranky people on here. They should all be glad that they're getting the updates they are. I'm sure just a few years back they would have had to call an 800 number to get any info on the bridge's progress and it probably wouldn't have been updated as frequently as this blog.

Also, aren't you guys ahead of schedule? hmm... seems people should be happy about just the possibility of it opening sooner than expected.

In any event, great job guys!! I really appreciate all the updates, descriptions and pictures you've posted.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to laugh when it's not windy! :-)

Anonymous said...

Blah Blah Blah it will open when it opens!!!!

Anonymous said...

I perdict that on the last test the bridge will close and the open.
Just call me Karnack

Anonymous said...

Adding my thanks to everyone that has worked so hard on this!
Drove out to the bridge yesterday and was happy to see the culvert work on 104 is finished.
One suggestion- get the webcam working again so we can watch the testing!

mikijoyous said...

I've been having a really hard time concentrating on work here; coming in for this amusing banter. I'd like to know which number test they're on at this very second and the instant there are any failures. Then again, I'd like not to work for a living and never get old(er)! I'm just excited that the end is near in sight. Kudos to irwinj for your patience!

Anonymous said...

great job all around and I agree about the "patience of a saint" comment. Thank you from the driving public. And the alternative transportation worked really well. said...

And I'm back. Boy, leave this desk for a while and the beat goes on.

Looks like the plan on the PT-Edmonds run is contingent on when the bridge reopens. If it opens early enough in the day, allowing us to provide sufficient notice, we'll cease operations that day.

Starship said...

Rumor Control Has it:

The bridge will open within hours of the completion of the 20 opening/closing test.

True or False?

The 20 opening/closing test was not conducted today as scheduled.

True or False?

Anonymous said...

Could we get some confirmation on what Starship said?

Anonymous said...

As a company that has been severely affected by this closure, I can't tell you enough just how pleased we are that you have treated our "commuter" to terrific timely crossings, and that you will be finishing up your scheduled project EARLY! Early being the operative word here. I agree with are finishing up early and those who are looking the gift horse in the mouth need to settle down and just be thankful.
Thanks to everyone involved from the shuttle drivers to the ferry captain and crew and all of the hard working construction laborers.

Geri said...

When,oh when, will the bridge open up...when oh, when will it beeeeee?????? said...

Here is another set of reponses, perhaps not done as smoothly as Joe(this is really Becky Hixson) but hopefully informative just the same.

First, here comes the answers to true or false. Thanks for not playing truth or dare. I've never been good at that game.

True. The bridge could open a few hours after the draw span testing is completed IF (and there is always an if...) all the other items that are scheduled to be completed before the tests stay on track.

True. The testing did not start today and was moved to tomorrow, Wednesday.

Second, service adjustment after the bridge is open. We have a system in place that can and will be adjusted as needed based on ridership.

Third, construction details. We can certainly provide more details. Just fair warning, most of what is left is nitty-gritty stuff (although very important)so technical it might make your eyes glaze over. With 1,400 items just on the draw span check list, there is a lot of information. If you do send some suggestions, we are happy to find some cool facts for you. said...

Starship is correct. Great blog handle, too. Obviously, tests were delayed and yes -- barring problems -- the bridge can realistically open a few hours after the 20-cycle tests are completed.

Ben said...

Is the new and updated draw span going to mean that the time that traffic will be stopped for marine traffic in the future will be reduced?