Hood Canal Bridge reopens after being stuck in open position

The Hood Canal Bridge reopened to traffic Wednesday afternoon after an incident that kept the floating drawspan out of service for drivers for several hours.

The problem was fixed by about 4:45 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation. Earlier, the drawspan drifted 14 feet out of alignment, requiring a tow and some help from receding tides to bring it back.

Crews needed to wait for the high tide to recede, helping to float the part into position, said Claudia Bingham Baker, a Transportation Department spokeswoman.

She said three problems occurred at once about 10:30 a.m.:

▪ A cable was disconnected for a replacement project, and the new one hasn’t been fastened yet.

▪ The Transportation Department opened the drawspan as required to let a vessel pass through.

▪ Tides were quickly rising, en route to a roughly 11-foot increase from dawn to afternoon. Moving water pushed against the central, floating segments of the bridge.

The span is part of state Route 104 between Kingston and the Olympic Peninsula.

“It was an unusual set of circumstances,” Baker said, asked if the Transportation Department should have anticipated the bridge would misalign.

The department might ask mariners to avoid requesting a drawspan opening, except during slack tide conditions, Baker said.

The risk of another misalignment should end within a couple days, when the replacement cable is secured, she said.