Bridges: Open or Closed?

Bridge Opening For Navy Ship

One of the facts of life living on the north half of the Olympic Peninsula is that access to and from major population centers (think shopping and medical appointments) relies on crossing the Hood Canal bridge. In the case of Navy vessels (both submarines and support ships going to/from the Bangor Naval Base (think Trident Nuclear Submarines). Depending on the time of day, the delay can be easily close to an hour. And longer delays are possible during stormy weather, when the bridge is opened to minimize the strain of water being pushed against the span. Then the roadway is closed until the weather moderates.

But my question is: when do you call the bridge “open” and when do you call it “closed”? To me, when the bridge is open, the roadway is closed. But I’ve had conversations with people who say the bridge is closed … meaning that it is open for highway traffic … and other conversations where “the bridge is open”, meaning that it is open for highway traffic. Having grown up in Seattle, with its numerous draw bridges, I’m used to the perspective that when a bridge is open, it is open for boat traffic.

Are you mixed up yet?

Unexpected Delay

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