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

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Front Porch

EVENTS Teen Night at the Schack The next free Teen Night is… Continue reading

Police: Driver threatens pedestrian, ends up in drug bust

Meth, cocaine and heroin were found in his car, along with a loaded pistol and cash, police say.

Most Read