Skagit River Bridge

Repairs are under way Tuesday on the Skagit River Bridge. The state Department of Transportation has decided to raise the height of the metal truss structure over the existing portion of the bridge after the permanent fix for the collapsed portion is installed.

BURLINGTON –The new Skagit River Bridge span on Interstate 5 is scheduled to be put into place this Saturday night, the state Department of Transportation announced this morning.

The DOT reports that the girders are in place and the rail system for moving the span is ready.

The final step, pouring the concrete deck, is on schedule to be completed early this week. Once the concrete is cured, the permanent span is ready to be installed. Barring any last minute schedule changes, drivers will wake up to a new, permanent span on Sunday morning, Sept. 15.

“The contractor will detour I-5 traffic through the cities of Burlington and Mount Vernon for approximately 12 hours to remove the temporary spans and install the permanent span,” said Assistant Regional Administrator Jay Drye. “Moving bridges is not easy. Drivers need to stay engaged and plan for detours.”

The bridge collapsed May 23 after a truck’s oversized load struck several of the trusses. Two vehicles fell into the river, but no one was seriously hurt.

The I-5 corridor was broken for nearly a month until a temporary replacement span was opened in mid-June. The permanent span is being built alongside the existing bridge. The plan is to move the temporary span out and replace it with the permanent one in a matter of hours.

If things go as planned, the new span could be open Sunday morning, the DOT says.

DETOUR PLANS:

Saturday

  • Crews will detour traffic on I-5 between College Way and George Hopper Road from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., using the detour routes that were established when the bridge was closed in late May.
  • Updates on the detour hours will be available on the project web page.
  • While the contractor expects the detour to last only 12 hours, it is a complex operation and the closure could be extended several hours. Drivers should check to ensure the roadway has been reopened before traveling Sunday.

Once I-5 traffic is detoured, contractor crews will move the two temporary spans out of the way using hydraulic jacks that slide on Teflon pads and long steel rails. Crews will then use a similar system to slide the new 900-ton span into position from the west side of the existing bridge and lower and lock it into place.

Even though the bridge will be in place by Sunday, there will be some nighttime detours through mid-November as crews work to retrofit overhead bridge supports.

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