Temporary Skagit bridge span moved into place

Part of the temporary span of the Skagit River Bridge was moved into place about midday Monday.

That doesn’t mean it’s open for traffic yet. It will take some time to finish the work and make sure it’s ready for the volume of traffic (about 71,000 vehicles per day) that usually travels over it.

The reopening is at least a week away, state Department of Transportation officials said in a press release.

The first of two temporary sections was moved across the gap between the north and south sides of the Skagit River Bridge on Monday. Next, they get it positioned over the concrete supports and start working on the second temporary span, according to a press release.

Crews expect to work in around-the-clock shifts as much as possible until the temporary span is complete. DOT plans to finish construction on the temporary span and reopen I-5 to traffic sometime next week, the press release states.

“Getting to this point hasn’t been easy,” said Jay Drye, DOT assistant regional administrator. “Each step of removing and replacing the damaged bridge span has to be carefully choreographed to maximize efficiency, speed and safety.”

A span of the Skagit River Bridge collapsed into the river on May 23. Three people were injured, but none seriously. Meanwhile, traffic has been detoured through Burlington and Mount Vernon since then.

Officials expect the permanent replacement span will be completed by early fall.

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