UPDATE: Both directions of the Skagit River Bridge are open to traffic. Crews removed the last of the traffic barriers at 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 19.
MOUNT VERNON – The temporary spans are in place; the bridge deck is paved. After touring the site Tuesday, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the Washington State Department of Transportation expects to reopen the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge sometime Wednesday, June 19.
“We’ve asked a lot from WSDOT, the contractor and their subcontractors, and they delivered,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “We’re now in the final stretch of safely reopening the bridge and restoring access for those visiting and doing business in Skagit County. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this happen, and those who have been patient to see it through.”
With the temporary bridge comes a temporary change to the speed limit of 40 miles per hour, and load limits for freight haulers.
Temporary bridge and traffic details
• Each direction of the temporary span will be reduced from two 12-foot lanes with 3-foot shoulders, to two 11-foot lanes with 1-foot shoulders.
• The speed limit will be reduced from 60 to 40 mph between the College Way and State Route 20 interchanges, a distance of roughly a half-mile on each side of the bridge.
• All oversized or overweight trucks must exit and use the current detour route.
“Roughly 99 percent of the car and truck traffic will be able to cross the I-5 bridge again,” said WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson. “This will dramatically reduce the congestion through Mount Vernon and Burlington, and hopefully bring some much-needed normalcy back to our communities.”
Crews worked through the weekend to jack the second span into place and install all of the bridge deck. Crews are completing installation of expansion joints, installing barrier, new signs and road striping.
WSDOT has announced that Max J. Kuney Construction of Spokane has been awarded the $6.87 million contract to build the permanent fix for the bridge. That contractor is anticipated to begin work this week and have the finished section ready for installation after the Labor Day weekend and before Oct 1. Installation of the new span could require a full closure of I-5 for up to two weeks.
A portion of a bridge on I-5 collapsed into the Skagit River near Mount Vernon Thursday, May 23, after a semi-truck struck critical steel supports. This vital corridor carries an average of 71,000 vehicles each day and is the only north-south interstate in Washington state.
For more information on the project or to sign up for e-mail updates, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/SkagitRiverBridgeReplacement.