Attention turns to Skagit bridge retrofit

MOUNT VERNON — Now that the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River has a new section in place, crews are working to make sure the span doesn’t suffer another freak collapse.

Starting on Monday night, officials will regularly close the bridge during nighttime hours while they retrofit and reinforce the span’s overhead structure. The primary goal is to raise the clearance height of the bridge to be 18 feet all the way across the span.

A portion of the bridge collapsed in May when an oversize truck load clipped a portion of the overhead structure, sending one 160-foot section and two vehicles with three people into the water. No one was killed.

After the bridge collapse, officials installed a temporary span in June to allow traffic to flow through the area. On Sunday, workers slid a permanent new section into place.

Inspection records show evidence that the bridge has been clipped by big rigs dating back to the 1970s. Because of the design, the current vertical clearance on the bridge is 18 feet above the center lanes, but it tapers down to 15 feet, 6 inches at the fog lines on the right side of the roadway.

Crews plan to complete the retrofit by mid-November. The cost of the project is more than $4 million and is primarily funded by federal emergency relief money.

The bridge carries roughly 70,000 vehicles a day. During closures, traffic will be rerouted off the interstate and over a bridge to the east of the I-5 span. Oversize and overweight loads will be detoured even when the bridge is open.

More in Local News

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Most Read