Birch Bay-Lynden I-5 overpass reopens to two-way traffic

The Birch Bay-Lynden Road Interstate 5 overpass reopened to two-way traffic on Friday, May 22, a day after it was struck by a truck hauling an excavator.

Only one lane of the overpass was in use after the excavator struck two of the girders supporting the overpass on Thursday. After a review of the bridge’s condition by the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Bridge Preservation Office, crews shifted traffic on the overpass away from the damaged girder on the northern side of the structure. The lanes now are narrower than before, and there are no shoulders on the overpass.

As a result of the accident, one girder will need to be replaced. Design of permanent repairs for the damaged overpass has begun, with repair work expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Tom Pearce of WSDOT.

Large trucks that require a permit for size or weight are not allowed on the overpass until it can be permanently repaired.