Temporary Bridge Plan for Skagit River
May 27, 2013, 12:22 am
A temporary fix to the I-5 Skagit River Bridge should be in place by mid-June with a permanent replacement ready by the fall. Until the temporary span is ready, drivers are being told to add an hour to their travel time as they use detours in the area.
Thursday's bridge collapse, caused by a semi-truck carrying an oversize load striking the bridge, fractured one of the major trade and travel corridors on the West Coast. The interstate connects Washington state with Canada, which is about an hour north of Mount Vernon, where the bridge buckled.
Crews are starting to remove debris from the river which should take several days. An inspector is on the scene today to determine how safe the remaining span is.
The federal government is expected to cover 100 percent of the costs of the temporary bridge and 90 percent the replacement, said state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.
The truck's cargo from Canada was headed to Alaska. Its plan was to load the cargo onto a barge in Vancouver, Wash., about 275 miles south of the border crossing. Hersman said she didn't know why the plan called to use a port a couple of hundred miles away from other ports.