Temporary Span to Repair I-5 Bridge

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced the plan shortly after a section of the highway bridge collapsed into the Skagit River.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a temporary span will be installed where part of an Interstate 5 highway bridge collapsed into the Skagit River near Mt. Verson, Wash., last week. "We will install a temporary span on the bridge that will restore traffic while we build a safe and durable permanent span adjacent to it," the governor said. "This plan ensures the economic vitality of Washington state and the communities along this important corridor."

One the span in installed, traffic will be allowed to cross it at a reduced speed and capacity. The replacement will will consist of two, 24-foot wide structures that will be built elsewhere and trucked to the site.

"The plan minimizes the closure time and keeps clear access to popular Skagit County retail business and destinations, including the Anacortes ferry terminal," said Inslee. "I'm proud of all the work done by the Department of Transportation and all our local and federal partners that resulted in this innovative plan."

If the remaining inspections of the bridge structure find no additional damage, the temporary bridge could be in place within weeks, once debris in the riverbed has been removed. WSDOT hopes to have a permanent bridge open to traffic in early fall.

The U.S. Department of Transportation released $1 million to assist, and federal funding will cover 90 percent of the cost of a permanent fix estimated ats $15 million. WSDOT Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said traffic delays will continue to be a challenge for months to come. "The home stretch will be a two-week total closure of I-5 likely in September as crews remove the temporary structure and move the permanent bridge into place," Peterson said.

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