August 14, 2008 -
In this issue of the Hood Canal Bridge Project Newsletter, partners can look forward to…
Marking the date of the bridge closure
Learning about Medical Services
Reading about ways to plan ahead and get ready
Catching up on the latest construction milestones
Mark your calendars
It is time to get ready. The HoodCanal bridge closure is now only nine months away. The bridge will be closed for six weeks May through June 2009 while the east half is replaced to make it wider, safer, and more reliable during bridge openings. Watch a video about the project…
Learn about medical services
Medical transportation is a top concern for all involved with the HoodCanalBridge closure. Since 2002, WSDOT has been working with a broad cross-section of medical and transportation professionals to make sure drivers can access needed services during the temporary closure. WSDOT is providing both public outreach services and a medical bus to address medical transportation needs that may arise during the May-June 2009 closure.
The most important thing you can do is plan ahead. Confer with your health care provider, especially if you depend on the bridge to access medical services. Learn more about medical services… Patients who have routine check-ups during the closure period should either review their transportation options or try to reschedule their appointments.
Medical Bus Service
The medical bus service is a fare-free, reservation-based service that will be offered during the closure. The service is available to patients who receive life-sustaining treatments in KitsapCounty and Seattle. Additional detail about the medical bus service (including route information) is included in the Medical Bus Service fact sheet. Read the fact sheet…
Emergency Medical Care
Emergency Medical Service providers throughout the area are aware of and preparing for the May-June 2009 closure. During closure, it is expected that some of the trips that would normally be bound for HarrisonHospital in Bremerton (a Level III trauma center), will be diverted to Port Townsend (a Level IV trauma center), Port Angeles (Olympic Medical Center is a Level III trauma center), and Seattle (Harborview is a Level I trauma center) via medical air transportation.
Additional Planning and Services
Community organizations and healthcare providers are also taking steps to make sure that people get the care they need. Examples include:
· AirLift Northwest is working closely with regional healthcare providers to coordinate medical air transportation services.
· East Jefferson Fire & Rescue has been meeting with other fire districts on the peninsula and in KitsapCounty to develop contingency plans for transporting patients to Bremerton’s HarrisonMedicalCenter and Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia area hospitals.
· East Jefferson Fire & Rescue is also composing a letter to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner and the medical insurance companies it currently bills for such services to make them aware of the possibility of longer transport trips that may result in increased costs during the bridge closure.
· Jefferson Healthcare has convened a task force to analyze and address issues raised by the closure and will make appropriate service and staffing adjustments. Their work includes close collaboration with other facilities in the area.
· Jefferson County Fire District No. 3 is planning staffing and service adjustments.
· Kenmore Air plans to offer enhanced services to accommodate passengers and medical cargo.
· Northwest EMS has been convening meetings with hospital and pre-hospital personnel to plan for the closure. They are preparing fact sheets and informational materials for residents. Northwest EMS has been working closely with Airlift Northwest, area hospitals, Fire/EMS services in the four county-area, the Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Homeland Security and other key stakeholders.
Help your neighbors
Help your community by familiarizing yourself with the medical services plans and sharing this information with those who need it. The best way to stay informed about medical service planning and other closure mitigation planning is to visit www.HoodCanalBridge.com on a regular basis.
According to recent survey data, a large majority of residents (89 percent) know about the closure. However, many are unaware of their transportation options during the closure.
To reduce the affect, it is essential that people know about the closure and are aware of alternate transportation options. WSDOT is partnering with dozens of community organizations to ensure that people are well informed and well prepared.
Help your community by familiarizing yourself with the information below and sharing this information with those who need it.
· Alternative Routes
· Transportation Options
The 2009 HoodCanalBridge closure will significantly affect drivers, residents and the local economy. WSDOT will continue to reach out to partners to make sure that the word gets out. Help us spread the word by sharing this e-mail with your friends and colleagues.
Meeting construction milestones
WSDOT closely tracks construction project as the May-June 2009 closure approaches. Overall, the project is 82 percent complete.
On Aug. 1, WSDOT floated the last two pontoons out of the graving dock at Concrete Technology in Tacoma. The pontoons are now at Todd Pacific Shipyard in Seattle where they will be connected and the superstructure and roadway will be added. Read more… or watch time-lapse video of the final float-out…
Find out more about construction progress…
Each day, between 14,000 and 20,000 vehicles travel over the HoodCanalBridge, a 1.5-mile link between the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas. The bridge is vital to the economic and social success of the region.
Organizations are already helping prepare for the spring 2009 closure by learning more about the travel options available, planning trips ahead of time and sharing closure information with others. Getting involved in the project is easy:
· Sign up to receive project e-mail updates at www.HoodCanalBridge.com
· Schedule a bridge or construction site tour for your group
· View the live construction site Web camera
· Post a display board at your office or workplace
· Request a speaker from the Hood Canal Bridge Project team to speak to your members or colleagues
· Find out more at www.HoodCanalBridge.com
· Contact us . . .
Becky Hixson, HixsonB@wsdot.wa.gov, 253-305-6450
Joe Irwin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253-305-6412
Becky Dolan, email@example.com, 253-305-6413
950 Broadway Suite 501, Tacoma, WA98402
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