Skagit bridge expected to reopen next week

The Associated PressJune 11, 2013 

MOUNT VERNON — State transportation officials say the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River should reopen sometime next week, after they finish installing a temporary span to replace the bridge that collapsed May 23.

That will be a week too late for thousands of students returning home from Western Washington University after they finish their finals in Bellingham this week. Most of the university’s students live south or east of the bridge.

The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to work day and night to meet its goal of getting the temporary span in place by mid-June.

On Monday, crews pushed the first of two temporary sections across the gap between the north and south sides of the Skagit River Bridge. They will spend the next several days positioning it over new concrete supports. Then they have to repeat the process on the other side.

“Getting to this point hasn’t been easy,” said Jay Drye, WSDOT assistant regional administrator, in a statement.

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