Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hood Canal Bridge

Thirty years ago on 2/19/79 the west half of the Hood Canal Bridge sank in a storm. What a shock that was. David and I had visited the Olympic Peninsula in November of '78 to purchase land, so by the time we moved to Sequim after our wedding in June of '79 the bridge was resting in 300 feet of water and it would take almost 4 years to replace. Although there were several other avenues to leave the Peninsula, (fly/drive around/launch your own boat) this bridge was the easiest, quickest and most direct route to ferries, and the 1-5 corridor.

Work was hard to come by in those days and life did indeed seem uncertain. But we survived and when the bridge reopened in '82 everyone in town drove out to just drive across it over and over. That may sound silly but it was so much fun! We felt connected. And it was free for that one day only. (A toll was placed on it the next day in order to pay for the repairs.)

Last year we learned that the bridge would have to be closed for 6 weeks this spring for needed repairs, I wondered if I'd feel like I did all those years ago. I didn't. Sequim has grown so much since then and as I am not a daily commuter, I didn't have to deal with the frustration that many others did. The WSDOT did a great job of providing buses and ferries to keep people moving. David and I only had to make one trip in order to get to the airport & that went smoothly.

I've been checking the Hood Canal blog for the past few days (yes, even a bridge can have a blog) and I'm here to tell you that our wait has come to an early end. (Thank God for monetary incentives.) Commuters will be relieved and local businesses will look forward to more customers.

It's not that I plan to jump into my car and cross the bridge a few times tomorrow but it's good to know it's available should I desire to leave the Peninsula for a bit. (Click here for some great photos.)

Do you remember the scene in The Truman Show where Jim Carrey finally overcomes his fear of water and drives across the bridge in search of the "real world"?

Well this is not like that.

OK, maybe just a little bit.

Leader file photo by Frank Garred.


Rebekah said...

Oh my gosh; you are so cute!

rhymeswithplague said...

Hi, Roberta, thanks for commenting on my blog awhile back. I was just over here today poking around and found your Hood Canal Bridge post. Mrs. RWP and I visited your fair state in 1984. I remember driving over the Hood Canal Bridge but had no idea until now that it had been recently destroyed and rebuilt. We have fond memories of taking the ferry from Port Townsend to Anacortes, and of spending two days in Victoria, B.C., and looking across the water to Port Angeles.

Old memories are sometimes the best memories, I think, but new ones are good, too.

Thanks again for visiting me from Ruth Chatlien's blog.