Crews installing new I-5 Skagit bridge span

MOUNT VERNON — Crews are installing a new section of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River that collapsed four months ago and hope to have the crossing open to traffic this morning.

The state Transportation Department says the temporary crossing that’s been carrying traffic in recent weeks was closed at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Crews planned to work overnight to slide the permanent section into place and be done within 12 hours.

Travis Phelps, a DOT spokesman, said the bridge swap is a daunting task, requiring the removal of a temporary span that weighs 500 tons and the installation of a permanent span that is some 900 tons. Officials cautioned that the operation is complex and that the closure could be extended if things don’t go according to plan.

“We’re confident, but we obviously want to do this right,” Phelps said.

The overnight replacement is designed to minimize traffic impacts at the crossing that carries roughly 70,000 vehicles a day.

Officials have been working toward this moment ever since an oversize truck load hit the bridge on May 23, sending one 160-foot section and two vehicles with three people into the water. No one was killed.

Traffic was detoured for a month through Mount Vernon and Burlington until a temporary span was installed.

The total cost of removing the temporary span and installing a permanent replacement is $8.5 million — paid by federal emergency relief funds. The contractual deadline for the permanent replacement span is the beginning of October.

Along with the permanent span installation, the state is planning additional nighttime bridge closers in the coming weeks because crews also plan to retrofit the overhead bridge supports.

I-5 Skagit River traffic cameras

Several traffic cameras near the I-5 cross of the Skagit River are available at the Department of Transportation’s website at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/SkagitRiverBridgeReplacement/cameras.htm

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read