Hood Canal Bridge out of action

No matter how you get there, prepare yourself for much pain and suffering if you take a trip to the Olympic Peninsula this weekend.

The Hood Canal Bridge will close at 8 p.m. today and won’t open again until Monday morning. It’ll be closed again Aug. 21-25.

The closures are occurring so work dependent on good weather can be performed on the $285 million project to replace the aging bridge.

The Hood Canal Bridge is closing twice, once this weekend and again from Aug. 21-25.


The first closure is from 8 p.m. today to 4 a.m. Monday. The second is from 8 p.m. Aug. 21 to 4 a.m. Aug. 25.

Are there detours?

* Take the ferry to Whidbey Island from Mukilteo, drive half the length of the island, and then take the ferry from Keystone to Port Townsend. Ferry hours will be extended. Runs will start at 4:45 a.m. from Port Townsend and depart until 12:30 a.m. from Keystone.

* Drive south to Olympia, circle around the bottom of Puget Sound and then drive up U.S. 101.

* Ride from Seattle to Port Townsend on a special foot ferry being run by the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce.

What’s happening during the closures?

The east and west on-the-ground spans that approach the two-mile floating bridge will be replaced. The work needs to be done in good weather, which means it must be done now or in September.

Sources: State Department of Transportation, Washington State Ferries.

So instead of praying for the day when cars can fly, you might want to pack a lunch for the back seat, bring some extra gas and pretend to enjoy the scenery.

Don’t forget to prop up your back – think lumbar support. You’ll also need sunscreen for your left arm.

Or you could just stay home.

With the bridge closed, there simply is no easy way to get to the peninsula, especially from Snohomish County, said Lloyd Brown, a state Department of Transportation spokesman.

“These are difficult choices that we’re faced with,” Brown said.

Normally, Snohomish County residents have among the quickest routes to the peninsula. In about an hour’s time, they can catch a ferry in Edmonds, cross to Kingston and then drive across the Hood Canal Bridge.

Not this weekend.

Anyone who misses the 6:30 p.m. sailing from Edmonds tonight will have to go around the long way.

They can either take the ferry to Whidbey Island via Mukilteo, drive half of the length of the island, catch another ferry at Keystone, and finally float to Port Townsend, or they can drive down to Olympia and back up U.S. 101. A third option is to take a special foot ferry being run by the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce from downtown Seattle to Port Townsend.

“We don’t know what to expect,” said Susan Harris-Huether, a spokeswoman for the ferry system, who said the hope is that people who don’t have to travel won’t.

The hours of the Keystone-to-Port Townsend ferry run have been extended, but a second ferry won’t be added.

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