Thursday, June 4, 2009

Project success, and way too many people to thank

The bridge is open and as usual, there are about 10,000 people to thank (now where is my list?). I'll group them to keep things simple.

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who stuck it out throughout the project, taking on everything from longer commutes, too much time away from their families, weather-related water shuttle delays and the like for weeks on end. Let's face it, it pretty much stunk.

But it's over now and think of all the interesting experiences you had that no one anywhere else -- on the planet, mind you -- had this past month. Years from now, you can bore your great grandkids with tales of the May-June 2009 bridge closure. So much to look forward to.

So much has ended.

This project was years in the making, and everyone from the engineers who designed it, to the construction managers and crews who put it together, to the people who tracked thousands of change orders, materials documents and fiscal transfers, those who developed the water shuttle/transit plan and made it work, office staff who coordinated events and made sure things went smoothly, and everyone else who participated in what truly was a team project, is to thank. (I'm sure I'm missing more than a few, but they know who they are.)

We had quite a cast and everyone played a vital role.

This blog (my first) was so much fun, I had to make sure I was still getting paid for it. In the end, all jokes -- and bikini carwashes -- aside, I'd like to say thanks again for sticking with us.

It was a bumpy ride at times, slow at others, but as the opening approached (5, 10, 15, 20) this was where people came for their information, updates and to cheer the progress on. The excitement, the anticipation, the relief provided the gas that fueled this blog and made it go.

My sincerest thanks to one and all.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

YAHOO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your humorous and compassionate updates; you deserve a raise for the less than friendly posts you recieved. I'm happy to have the bridge back open, but I'll miss your wit. I too, experienced the previous closure whent the west half sank in 1979. I was only a kid but I remember the long ferry ride from PT to Edmonds, then the ferry across the Hood Canal when lines would stretch out to Hwy 3 and nearly to Poulsbo it seemed. We would wait somedays 3-4 hours for a ten minute ferry ride. How much more pleasant and quick this experience has been. Everyone has been great and I am so impressed with whomever had the planning of this project. So far as I'm concerned, it went off without a hitch. Great job everyone.

Sara
Port Townsend

Sarah said...

Great job, Joe! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I commute to Seattle and one night while waiting for the foot ferry I thought "wow, there are countries in the world where a bridge goes down and stays down, no free friendly service, just 'sorry folks, you cant get there', we are so fortunate". A big thanks to all that made this so. Joe, you're a rock star.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your hard work everyone!

Anonymous said...

This was fun....Can we do it again sometime.

Joking aside thanks for the effort put into this blog and to each one of the people on this project

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the State of Washington and DOT for using electronic technology to keep us informed and entertained during this period. Now that the bridge is again open I can go to PT and celebrate my grandson's first Birthday!

Momma P

Judith in Chimacum said...

Heartfelt thanks to everyone involved - "Team irwinj" for the blog and updates, the construction crew (top notch), the bus/ferry/bus teams (amazing, professional, personable), my fellow commuters (patient, humorous, patient, grumpy, patient), and anyone and everyone else connected with this project. Well done, crew, well done. Elvis has left the building...Thank you...and good night.

Anonymous said...

Is there a date that all cars must be removed from Port Gamble?

Thanks,

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Security services end Sunday, June 7. If you can make arrangements to move the vehicles by then, it'd probably be in your best interest to do so.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! Sequim, here I come....

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all for a great job. We used the bus/ferry service on a couple of weekends (to get to our summer house) and were impressed with how efficient it was.
I am glad the bridge is open now!

Shine1748 said...

Great job everyone involved and especially to Joe, who kept us "up to speed" on the goings-on!
Can't say I missed the traffic noise, but it ssure is nice to be back to "normal" again!

Penney said...

As others have voiced, the blog was wonderfully humorous with valuable info. Kept things light while wading through the ups and downs of the project. My only suggestion - starting the blog earlier in the project may have waylaid pre-closure gossip and rumors AND what about blogs on other WSDOT projects, at least the big ones, or one blog covering them all - now there's job security! Thank you for your extraordinary communication work.

What a difference 30 years makes, the age of high-tech communication is part of it, but I think the mistakes, some tragic, made in 1979 taught the state a lot, of course that was not something years in the planning, and hopefully now and for many generations no one will have to experience an emergency loss/closure of the bridge.

Hope you can take a vacation now - can I recommend the Olympic Peninsula, it's soooo easy to get to! :o)

Penney said...

P.S.
Please tell all those trucks coming up 101 and Center Road to take the wonderful new bridge!!

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Thanks Penney,

Would you believe the blog started in January?

It took months to ramp up but, seeing as it started with a handful of visitors and has since had nearly 60,000 and more than 100,300 page views -- the vast majority in the past few weeks -- I think it did what we hoped it would.

We tried to stay on top of the rumors to the best of our ability but some were so creative it was tough to figure out how best to respond.

Anonymous said...

Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest fears. (What will we do when the bridge closes, how will it affect me, me, me)?

After using the parkNrides, riding the interim ferry and the Starline buses (or should I say coaches), I found that my experience was most positive. It was especially nice to see such friendly attitudes from all those involved with helping us reach our destination. After my first trip, I realized that the bridge closure wasn't so bad. A+ to WSDOT for planning ahead and successfully completing this major project!

Thank you all, and hats off to the construction crew for finishing early, most impressive!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful bridge!! Several honking horns and thumbs up to the safety orange vested guys still on the bridge this morning. Everyone involved in this project should be extremely proud on a such a smooth operation. Very impressive....Joe you have turned into quick the blogger!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I would have gotten hooked on this website and blog earlier. I am going to miss all the information and everyones opinions (and you know what opinions are like).
When I came home from Chimacum just a short while ago is was really strange to see a big semi truck passing over the overpass on 104 heading towards the brige.
Now my major question.......Now the bridge is open what are people going to whine about?

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Not the weather, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

SWEEEEET!! Thanks to the hard-workin' folks at the WSDOT! You probably won't get all the "Than-Qs" you all deserve - but thanks from a Port Angeles local since 1979. No more burning bridges for this kid. I've turned a new leaf. Time to drive to Gig Harbor to see grandma and eat candy from Christmas circa 2003. No excuses now...

Penney said...

Folks can go back to whining about the ferries, maybe the same crew that did such a great job on the bridge and finished early could build those new ferries for the PT/Keystone run.....can't even remember if that's still in the works........

Kerry said...

it really can't be said enough - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! everyone involved did an AWESOME job and made the commute totally smooth and even enjoyable - God bless all of you for your commitment to excellence and serving others!! you all ROCK!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a great job! A public project that was completed ahead of schedule - that's what I call a miracle! Thanks to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Great job on this blog -- this is one of the reasons why WSDOT is looked upon in government as being a best-practices agency. You guys have even made (relatively) successful use of Twitter, which is more than can be said about 95% of the rest of those who jumped on the bandwagon.

My wife and I will remember the Hood Canal Bridge closure for one thing: being stuck behind a road-raging empty flatbed semi for 25 miles on 101 over Memorial Day Weekend. Let's just say he slowed down to 35 in no passing zones, sped up to 80 in passing zones, and prevented the line of cars behind him from passing. Ahh, to have the bridge back again.

Keep up the great work on communicating with all of us.