BURLINGTON – Work to install the new permanent span for the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge in Burlington is officially underway. Crews have already moved in two barges as well as a large crane and plan to have the bulk of their construction equipment in place next week.
On Thursday, July 11, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation began driving piles parallel to the temporary spans into the riverbed. The piles will eventually hold work platforms on both sides of I-5. After constructing the four-lane,160-foot-long replacement span on one side, crews will use a rail system to move the new span into its final location and to shift the temporary spans to the other side for disassembly.
The next big step comes after Labor Day, when crews close I-5 to make the swap.
“We expect the closure to be days, not weeks- but we just can’t be more specific yet,” said Jay Drye, WSDOT acting assistant regional administrator. “We’ll have a better idea as we get closer, and we’ll definitely keep the community informed of when it’s coming.”
A portion of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 collapsed near Mount Vernon Thursday, May 23, after a semi-truck struck critical steel supports. This vital corridor carries 71,000 vehicles daily.
WSDOT contractor Atkinson Construction completed work June 19 on a temporary replacement span and reopened I-5 to traffic. WSDOT selected Max J. Kuney Company to build the $6.87 million permanent span, with Parsons Brinckerhoff leading the design. They are currently on schedule to install the new span between September 5 and October 1.
As with construction of the temporary span, WSDOT has a camera in place to view the work and will post pictures throughout the construction period.
For more information on the project or to sign up for email updates, visit the project website.