Hood Canal Bridge

Update: Bene and Jon met with folks from West Sound Cycle Club including Lee to evaluate and collect details on what still needs to be addressed on the Hood Canal Bridge to make it safer for cyclists. Those will be submitted through BAW to WSDOT and we hope that the dangerous issues can be corrected soon.

From: Barbara Culp <BarbC@bicyclealliance.org>
Subject: Hood Canal Funding — Take Action
Date: March 19, 2012 12:01:08 PM PDTWhen the Hood Canal Bridge reopened in the summer of 2009, bicyclists from Squeaky Wheels, West Sound Cycling Club, and the Port Townsend Bicycle Association immediately identified serious safety issues for bicyclists on  the bridge, notified and met with WSDOT representatives. Safety issues identified included, parallel “wheel sucking” cracks, narrow plates, sharp edges in the travel lane and other deficiencies.Over the course of the last two years organizations like the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and local clubs worked with WSDOT to acquire $1.3 million to address the safety concerns identified. WSDOT then met with those organizations to discuss design proposals and material selection with the hope to retrofit the bridge during the 2012 construction season.

Unfortunately, according to Jeff Cook, the WSDOT project engineer, the various options under consideration will likely exceed the $1.3 million allocated for this project. Instead the cost appears more likely in the $1.8 million range.  He further stated that WSDOT continued to “evaluate the options with our bridge designers and the evaluation has not changed.”

Because of WSDOT’s concern over the increased cost of the project and the uncertainty over the additional funding needed, design work on the project has stopped and will not resume until such time the project engineer is advised that more funding is available to complete this project.

Jeff Cook submitted a project summary to the WSDOT Program Management group that oversees funding issues, and “requested guidance on the funding piece.”  To date there has not been a determination and that committee’s next meeting date is March 30th.

Now is the time to ask WSDOT for the funding to fix the Hood Canal Bridge’s safety issues for bicycles before more cyclists are injured.

We need to let WSDOT know before the March 30 in order to give the project the best chance of full funding. Please write today with the following key ask and points:

  • Please allocate the remaining $500,000 to make the Hood Canal Bridge safe for bicycles.
  • Critical connections. The Hood Canal Bridge is the only connection between the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic Peninsula for all types of riders.
  • Important economic benefits and tourism. The route attracts bicycle club riders, recreational riders, and cycling tourists from around the world.
  • A fix will save the state money. Ongoing safety concerns about the route make the state liable for future accidents along this improperly designed bicycle connection.

Send your emails to the WSDOT Executive Team at the following addresses:

Paula Hammond, Secretary of Transportation: HammonP@wsdot.gov
Jerry Lenzi, Chief Engineer, lenzijc@wsdot.gov
David Dye, Chief Operations Officer, DyeD@wsdot.gov
Kevin Dayton – Olympic Regional Administrator, daytonk@wsdot.gov
cc Jeff Cook, Olympia Region, Bridge Project Engineer, cookjd@wsdot.gov

Please also send your emails to elected officials in the 23rd and 24th Legislative Districts:

Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov
Sherry.Appleton@leg.wa.gov
Drew@drewhansen.com
Steve.Tharinger@leg.wa.gov
Jim.Hargrove@leg.wa.gov
kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov
Derek.Kilmer@leg.wa.gov

Thank you again for your support and good work to make the Bridge safe for all of us.

Tailwinds,
Barbara

Barbara J. Culp
Bicycle Alliance of Washington
Executive Director
(206)224-9252 ex 325
(206)384-9629 cell

Advocating for a bicycle-friendly Washington.