- Crews completed the retrofit work on Nov. 14, which required nighttime lane closures and detours.
- Crews will return this spring to paint small sections of the bridge.
- Contractor crews raised and reinforced the bridge’s overhead structural support system. While that work was underway, crews also performed maintenance activities, including replacing rivets below the deck and painting.
- Work was done at night to minimize disruption of traffic on I-5 and the surrounding communities.
Why is WSDOT
upgrading the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge?
The bridge was struck by a semitruck carrying an overheight load and one span of the bridge collapsed. Upgrading the bridge will reduce the risk of another oversized load striking the bridge.
Before this work was completed, drivers traveling over the Skagit Bridge would have noticed that the steel support structure above the travel lanes was curved (see picture 1 in Flickr set). This means the vertical clearance over the bridge’s center lanes was higher than the vertical clearance over the outside lanes in both directions. The bridge’s highest vertical clearance was located above the center lanes and measured 18 feet, while the vertical clearance above the right lanes measured 15 feet 6 inches at the fog line. Now the clearance is the same in both lanes.
The truck that was involved in the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge was too tall to be in the right lane, and it struck one of the lowest points on the bridge.
Now that we have completed this work, overheight trucks can travel in either lane over this bridge (see picture 2 in Flickr set).
The End Result
Crews have finished raising and reinforcing the structure. The bridge now has an equal 18-foot vertical clearance across all lanes. Several bridge members were retrofitted with reinforced steel components to add strength if the bridge is struck again.
Crews also completed maintenance work below deck during the closures.
- Improves safety by reducing the risk of oversize trucks not being in the correct lane for crossing the bridge.
- Reinforces the bridge in critical areas in case it is struck by a heavy load again
- Gets needed maintenance work completed at the same time.
What is the project timeline?
- May 23, 2013: The bridge is struck by an oversized load and a section of the bridge is destroyed, closing the bridge to traffic in both directions.
- June 18, 2013: WSDOT awarded the emergency permanent span replacement project to Max J Kuney of Spokane
- June 19, 2013: WSDOT completed installation of temporary spans and reopened I-5 to traffic.
- June 19: WSDOT awarded the emergency permanent span replacement project to Max J Kuney of Spokane.
- The weekend of Sept. 14, the contractor detoured I-5 traffic around the bridge to remove the temporary spans and move the new, permanent span into place.
- November 14, 2013: Crews complete retrofit work.
- Spring 2014: Crews will return to finish bridge paint work.
Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.
This design-bid-build contract was awarded to PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. to raise the clearance and reinforce the bridge.
The total current cost of the project is $4.1 million and is primarily funded by Federal Emergency Relief Funds. The total cost also includes funding for the maintenance activities (rivet replacement and painting), which was not eligible for the emergency relief funding.
How can I get more information?
Communications, Travis Phelps
15700 Dayton Avenue North
Seattle WA, 98133
Communications, Dave Chesson
1043 Goldenrod Road, Suite 101
Burlington WA, 98233
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