Skagit River bridge on I-5 to be shut down Monday night

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 30, 2013 

WSDOT — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BURLINGTON – Interstate 5 at the Skagit River bridge will be closed in both directions for 12 hours starting at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30.

Traffic will be detoured between the George Hopper Road and College Way interchanges from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. Tuesday while contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation continue to retrofit the steel overhead trusses.

Drivers will follow the same detour routes established when the bridge was closed after part of it collapsed May 23, and should add extra time to their commute.

The repairs are part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the bridge after it was struck May 233 by a semitruck carrying an overheight load, sending a northern span of the bridge — and two vehicles — into the Skagit River. Three people were rescued, none seriously injured.

Upgrading the bridge will reduce the risk of another oversized load striking the bridge, DOT said. The project will convert the steel support structure so it is the same height over both lanes. The current structure is curved, making its vertical clearance 18 feet in the middle but only 15 feet 6 inches at the fog line — the white line on the right side of the road. The truck that spurred the collapse was too tall to be in the outside lane and struck a lower point in the structure.

After the upgrade, the vertical clearance over all lanes will be 18 feet. For details about the project, the DOT project page.

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