Work to install the new permanent span for the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge in Burlington, Wash., is officially underway, but new delays and detours will happen again in a few weeks.
On Thursday contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation began driving piles parallel to the temporary spans into the riverbed. The piles will eventually hold work platforms on both sides of I-5.
After constructing the four-lane, 160-foot-long replacement span on one side, crews will use a rail system to move the new span into its final location and to shift the temporary spans to the other side for disassembly.
The next big step comes after Labor Day, when crews close I-5 to make the swap.
“We expect the closure to be days, not weeks, but we just can’t be more specific yet,” says Jay Drye, WSDOT acting assistant regional administrator. “We’ll have a better idea as we get closer.”
A portion of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 collapsed near Mount Vernon on, May 23, after a semi-truck struck critical steel supports, injuring three people. This vital corridor carries 71,000 vehicles daily.
A contractor completed work June 19 on a temporary replacement span and reopened I-5 to traffic.