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Bridge may open this week

Tue., June 18, 2013, midnight

Divers must inspect piers under I-5 span

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – A temporary span on the Interstate 5 bridge that crosses the Skagit River should open this week, less than a month after a section of the bridge collapsed, the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

The framework is in place, and workers are tightening bolts and welding sections on the temporary structure, which is 24 feet wide and 160 feet long, spokesman Travis Phelps said.

Workers also were installing panels Monday that will be paved with asphalt to form the new bridge deck, Phelps said. They’re also finishing repairs and painting remaining sections of the bridge that were hit by a truck with an oversize load.

Some other work remains, such as divers’ inspections of the bridge’s piers, so the department isn’t saying exactly when the bridge will reopen.

The temporary span and a permanent replacement due this fall will cost nearly $18  million. The federal Transportation Department is paying for all but about $1 million of the work.


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