Northbound Highway 529 bridge closed until Tuesday

EVERETT — The opening of the northbound Highway 529 bridge over the Snohomish River has been pushed back another day, with the bridge now scheduled to reopen mid-morning on Tuesday.

The bridge has been closed since early Saturday morning due to damage caused when a sports utility vehicle struck the bridge, damaging two of the bridges steel beams.

The delay in reopening the bridge was caused by difficult repairs to the two beams that support the bridge and wet, cold, and windy weather, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The southbound bridge remains open to the public.

The wreck sheared away vertical and diagonal support beams from connecting bolts on the bridge. It also damaged and cracked about 30 feet of the bridge’s guardrail, said Kris Olsen, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

The accident occurred about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. A Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputy who was working in a special emphasis patrol to catch potential drunk drivers, spotted the car driving at high speed.

The deputy pursued the car, which crashed into the bridge about a minute later, said Lt. Susy Johnson, with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office.

The vehicle was totaled. The driver, a woman, had minor injuries. She was checked at a local hospital and later booked into the Snohomish County jail for investigation of DUI, Johnson said.

The Highway 529 bridges connect Everett and Marysville. On a typical weekday, they are used by about 15,000 vehicles. The steel truss bridge was built in 1927. No estimate on the cost of repairs was available on Saturday.

Crews began work about 7 a.m. Saturday, figuring out how to take out the damaged beams and put in new ones, Olsen said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com

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