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DOT: Temporary bridge over Skagit River ready next week

Workers move temporary bridge sections into place over the Skagit River on Monday, June 10, 2013. They will spend the next several days positioning it over new concrete supports and expect to have the Interstate 5 bridge open by next week.
Workers move temporary bridge sections into place over the Skagit River on Monday, June 10, 2013. They will spend the next several days positioning it over new concrete supports and expect to have the Interstate 5 bridge open by next week. COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

State transportation officials say the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River should reopen sometime next week. That's when a temporary bridge span is expected to replace one that collapsed on May 23.

That's a week too late for thousands of students returning home from Western Washington University after they finish their finals in Bellingham this week. Most of the university's students live south or east of the bridge.

The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to work day and night to meet its goal of getting the temporary span in place by mid-June.

On Monday, crews pushed the first of two temporary sections across the gap between the north and south sides of the Skagit River Bridge. They will spend the next several days positioning it over new concrete supports. Then they have to repeat the process with on the other side.

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