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Old 05-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
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Travel Blockage I-5 North of Seattle

Tonight, a major bridge over the Skagit River, north of Seattle, Washington on Interstate 5 has collapsed, both South and North bound lanes are closed at that bridge.

If you are planning a trip that way, I would wait on it, since there is not a great way for detour's at this point.

This is for information only.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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Wow, I just looked at the pictures posted on The Columbians web site. Not much news yet as to loss of life but vehicles and possibly people are in the water. I would assume if vehicles went in there were people in them!
As a retired Transportation Engineer for the WSDOT all I can say is OMG!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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News is reporting, from multiple sources, that an oversize load hit the bridge, then it collapsed.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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I-5 bridge over Skagit River collapses, cars with people in water | kgw.com Portland

This was already always a bad area for congestion. If you really need an alternate route, take Hwy 9 through Sedro-Wolley or if heading to the San Juans and Whidbey take the Mukilteo ferry. I imagine they will probably be rerouting traffic to the other bridge on old 99 but it is really narrow too and there's going to be miles of backups until they can replace it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartlettj View Post
I imagine they will probably be rerouting traffic to the other bridge on old 99 but it is really narrow too and there's going to be miles of backups until they can replace it.
Right, this isn't something you can throw a "Bailey Bridge" up and resume normal traffic!
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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Is that bridge north of Burlington? Was planning on going to Burlington next week from the Sumas border crossing.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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South. Your good to go.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:32 PM   #8
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Be aware I think the Burlington exit is where the south bound traffic is getting off for the detour. May be a little slow.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:41 PM   #9
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South. Your good to go.
Ah good, thanks! It sure sucks for people that have to go back and forth that way, especially if that is their commute to work.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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WSDOT - I-5 at Skagit River Bridge

takes you to the WSDOT with maps of the detours and all the latest info.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:54 PM   #11
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The bridge that collapsed connected Burlington with Mount Vernon. According to Associated Press, it connected Seattle to Canada!

It was a 1955 construction during the time that stretch of I-5 was built and is a traditional steel truss design. The collapse resulted in from an overhead strike by a truck which damaged one of the cross beams.

The truck, and a car travelling just behind it, got onto the main bridge deck before the collapse. The section that collapsed was the one between the north bank of the river and the main deck. A single occupant driving a car and a couple in a pick-up truck towing a TT went into the river. The only injury was a dislocated shoulder for the pick-up driver, and he reset it himself so he could help his wife.He and the college student driving the car were both interviewed on TV yesterday.

The collapsed section carried both north- and south-bound traffic. WashDOT has posted a number of alternative diversions, but they're all on two-lane roads.

The shortest in distance has traffic using the Highway 20 and College Way interchanges, with traffic travelling between them on Burlington Boulevard/Riverside Drive. That road is already heavily travelled with local traffic, so the addition of 70,000 more vehicles a day will really make a mess. Yesterday afternoon, the delay was about 75 minutes.

A second detour for southbound traffic uses the SR 20 interchange at its northern end, sends traffic as far west as Avon-Allen Road, then south on Avon-Allen, east on SR 536 over another trestle bridge into downtown Mount Vernon then back on the freeway at Kincaid Street. This is also a suggested detour for NB traffic in the opposite direction. The SR 536 bridge is a narrow 2-lane one.

The third detour route uses Fir Island, and DOT is promoting this one as an alternative for people coming from the south to get to the Anacortes Ferry terminal, but it would also work for SB traffic. Northbound, it comes off I-5 at Conway, turns left at the off ramp, then first right through Conway and out onto the island. It goes over a railroad crossing just west of Conway. There's a 90-degree left turn some distance after the produce store on the island (not the one to the RV resort - the next one) then over the north fork of the Skagit and eventually to Sr 20 at either Best Road or LaConner-Whitney Road. Again, all two-lane roads, but fairly flat and not too twisty.

Yesterday, we went into M-V and we saw about a three-mile northbound back-up at Best Road and SR 20 traffic lights. A three vehicle back-up is more typical. I guess DOT will have to re-program the priority algorithms for the lights.

DOT was on TV last night and are talking about a "Bailey" bridge by-passing the entire existing span, maybe before the July 4th holiday, with construction of a new shore-to-bridge northern section by late in the year.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:56 PM   #12
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Parts for the temporary bridge are arriving on site according to the WSDOT.

WSDOT - I-5 at Skagit River Bridge

They are hoping for a mid-June re-opening.
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