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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Travis Phelps, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4698
Jay Drye, WSDOT engineering manager, 360-757-5993
After routine inspection on Nov. 17, last of lane closures wrap up for this year, minor painting to be completed in spring
BURLINGTON – Three contractors and less than six months after being struck by an oversized load, the collapsed span over the Skagit River was removed, spanned temporarily and then permanently, and the remaining steel structure retrofitted and reinforced.
With the retrofit work complete, the bridge’s overhead structure is now the same height in all lanes, which reduces the risk of the bridge being struck again. Other parts of the bridge were reinforced and maintenance was performed. Everything but spot painting was completed, which will now be completed next spring due to worsening weather this late in the year. However, temporary weight and oversize load restrictions put in place after the span collapse have been lifted.
“Our contractor for this retrofit work was very persistent in some of the worst weather possible. They kept a good schedule and the vital part of the work is done,” said Engineering Manager Jay Drye. “The hard work of all our contractors, and the patience and tenacity of our local communities and drivers has paid off. We want to thank everyone for helping us get this done.”
Unrelated to the retrofit work, Washington State Department of Transportation bridge inspection crews will close the right lane of northbound Interstate 5 over the Skagit River Bridge from 7 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Nov. 17. The inspection of the newly replaced span will give WSDOT a baseline for future inspections.
A portion of the bridge on Interstate 5 collapsed into the Skagit River in Burlington May 23, after a semi-truck struck critical steel supports. This section of the I-5 corridor carries 71,000 vehicles each day and is the only north-south interstate in Washington state. The I-5 Skagit River Bridge reopened to traffic on June 19, after contractor crews installed temporary spans. A permanent span was installed the weekend of Sept. 14. Retrofit work started the week of Sept. 16.
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