WSDOT says human error caused Hood Canal Bridge closure Sunday

HOOD CANAL, Wash. – Human error led to the Hood Canal Bridge being closed to traffic for seven hours on Sunday, the Washington State Department of Transportation said in a release on Monday.

The bridge lifted unevenly during an opening at 8 a.m., and it didn’t open again to traffic until around 3 p.m.

WSDOT said the problem was caused because there wasn’t enough hydraulic fluid in one of the four lifts that raise and lower that section of the bridge. A valve that controls the fluid was accidentally left closed during maintenance last week.

“Our crews take great pride in their maintenance of the Hood Canal Bridge,” WSDOT’s Troy Cowan said in the release. “This mistake is a humbling reminder of how important their work is, and how important it is for them to be focused and diligent at all times.”

WSDOT said it will revise its procedures for opening the bridge.