The Hood Canal Bridge first opened to the public on Aug. 12, 1961. The east half is now nearing the end of its structural life, and is listed as one of the Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) highest priority bridges for replacement.
A severe storm in Feb. 13, 1979 caused the west half to sink. It was rebuilt and the bridge reopened to traffic in 1982.
As part of the west-half design work, plans were prepared for replacing the older east half. The plans were not implemented, though because a study advised WSDOT to make use of the bridge's remaining structural life.
The east-half replacement project
began in 1997. The approach spans were replaced in August 2005. The west-half widening project was completed in December 2005. Pontoon construction for the east half began in March 2006.
- 1958 - Construction of the State Route (SR) 104 Hood Canal Bridge began in January.
- 1961 - The bridge opened to traffic on Aug. 12.
- 1977 - At the request of the Washington State Senate on July 12, the bridge was named in honor of William A. Bugge by the Washington Highway Commission.
- 1979 - The west half of the bridge failed and sank on Feb. 13 during a storm carrying wind gusts of 120 mph and sustained winds of 85 mph.
- 1982 - The west half was rebuilt and opened to traffic in October.
- 1997 - The east-half replacement project began.
- 2003 - Work started on building a graving dock in Port Angeles in August.
- 2004 - As a result of archaeological discoveries in Port Angeles, the bridge replacement date was reset to 2009 and work discontinued in Port Angeles on Dec. 21.
- 2004 - The southside of the west half of the bridge was widened.
- Fabrication work began on the bridge's new transition trusses.
- 2005 - The northside of the west half of the bridge was widened.
- 2005 - The new approach span were completed in August. The resulting two closures went well as a result of the community's planning efforts and preparedness.
- 2006 - Pontoon construction started at Concrete Technology in Tacoma in February.
- 2006 - Anchor construction began at Todd Shipyards in Seattle in September.
- 2006 - First cycle of pontoon construction completed, pontoons floated out of the graving dock on Dec. 6.
- 2007- First and second cycles of anchor construction completed on Feb.26 and June 20.
- 2007 - Second cycle of pontoon construction completed, pontoons floated out of graving dock on July 16.
- 2007 - Crews link draw span pontoons at TPS on Dec. 20.
- 2008 - Third cycle of pontoon construction completed, pontoons floated out of graving dock on Feb. 21.
- 2008 - WSDOT agrees with tribe's environmental concerns about Port Gamble Bay and seeks new dock location on April 15.
- 2008 - West transition truss completed at Oregon Iron Works in Vancouver, Wash. on April 22.
- 2008 - Lift spans arrive at Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle on June 9 and 23.
- 2008 - Public survey prompts decision to move water shuttle dock to Lofall in Kitsap County. June 18.
- 2008 - Final concrete pour for new pontoons at Concrete Technology Corporation in Tacoma on June 27.
- 2008 - Final pontoon connects were made at TPS in Seattle on Sept. 23.
- 2008 - Second truss was built at Oregon Iron Works in Vancouver, Wash. on Dec. 15.
- 2009 - Bridge parts begin arriving in January in Port Gamble Bay where they are moored in preparation of construction work.
- 2009 - Bridge closes to traffic at 12:01 a.m. May 1. View the milestones...
- 2009 - bridge reopens to traffic at 10:19 p.m. June 3, eight days ahead of schedule. See the photos of the work and opening ceremony on Flickr.
- Cost to construct the original bridge was $26 million.
- Costs for replacement of the west half was $143 million.
- In 2005, the Washington State Legislature provided $471 million towards the current east-half replacement and west-half retrofit.
- Tolls were set in 1962 at $1.30 for car and driver, and 30 cents for each passenger.
- In 1974, tolls were set at a flat $1.50 per car and remained at that level until the bridge sank.
- When the bridge reopened in October 1982, tolls were set at $2.50
- Tolls were reduced to $2 in April 1983
- Tolls were removed on Aug. 29, 1985
- The Hood Canal Bridge was the second concrete pontoon floating bridge constructed on Washington’s highway system. It is the longest floating bridge over a saltwater tidal basin in the world.
- The pontoons for the first floating bridge were constructed at a graving dock along the Duwamish River in Seattle and towed by tugs to the bridge site.
- There are only 11 permanent floating bridges in the world, and four of them are in the Puget Sound region. WSDOT is a pioneer in designing and building floating bridges and holds the record for building the first and the longest floating bridges.