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Temporary I-5 bridge over Skagit River to open Wednesday

MOUNT VERNON – Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that the Washington State Department of Transportation expects to reopen the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River Wednesday.

bridge“We’ve asked a lot from WSDOT, the contractor and their subcontractors, and they delivered,” Inslee said. “We’re now in the final stretch of safely reopening the bridge and restoring access for those visiting and doing business in Skagit County.”

With the temporary bridge comes a temporary change to the speed limit of 40 miles per hour, and load limits for freight haulers. All oversized or overweight trucks must exit and use the current detour route.

bridge1“Roughly 99 percent of the car and truck traffic will be able to cross the I-5 bridge again,” state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said. “This will dramatically reduce the congestion through Mount Vernon and Burlington, and hopefully bring some much-needed normalcy back to our communities.”

Crews worked through the weekend to jack the second span into place and install all of the bridge deck. Crews are completing installation of expansion joints, installing barrier, new signs and road striping.

WSDOT has announced that Max J. Kuney Construction of Spokane has been awarded the $6.87 million contract to build the permanent fix for the bridge. That contractor is anticipated to begin work this week and have the finished section ready for installation after the Labor Day weekend and before Oct 1. Installation of the new span could require a full closure of I-5 for up to two weeks.

A portion of a bridge on I-5 collapsed into the Skagit River near Mount Vernon May 23, after a tractor-trailer struck critical steel supports.

This vital corridor between Seattle and the Canadian border carries an average of 71,000 vehicles each day and is the only north-south interstate in Washington state.

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