BURLINGTON, Wash. – Less than six months after an oversized truckload on Interstate 5 struck the Skagit River Bridge, causing a span to fall, the collapsed portion has been removed, replaced temporarily and then permanently, and now the remaining steel structure has been retrofitted and reinforced.
All that is needed now is a little paint.
With the retrofit work complete, the bridge’s overhead structure is now the same height in all four lanes, which reduces the risk of the bridge being struck again, Department of Transportation officials said. Other parts of the bridge were reinforced and maintenance was performed.
Temporary weight and oversize load restrictions put in place after the span collapse have been lifted. Everything but spot painting was completed, which will now be finished next spring due to worsening weather.
“Our contractor for this retrofit work was very persistent in some of the worst weather possible. They kept a good schedule and the vital part of the work is done,” engineering manager Jay Drye said. “The hard work of all our contractors and the patience and tenacity of our local communities and drivers has paid off. We want to thank everyone for helping us get this done.”
Unrelated to the retrofit work, Department of Transportation bridge inspection crews will close the right lane of northbound I-5 on the Skagit River Bridge from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday.
The inspection of the newly replaced span will provide a baseline for future inspections.
A portion of the I-5 bridge collapsed into the Skagit River on May 23, after a semi-truck struck critical overhead steel supports. No one was seriously injured. This section of the I-5 corridor carries 71,000 vehicles each day and is the only north-south interstate in Washington.
The bridge reopened to traffic on June 19 after contractor crews installed a temporary span. A permanent span was installed the weekend of Sept. 14. Retrofit work started the week of Sept. 16.