Drivers still adjusting to I-5 closure in Mount Vernon

Drivers are still adjusting driving habits to deal with the bridge collapse that forced the closure of Interstate 5 between Mount Vernon and Burlington

Memorial Day saw about 5 percent fewer drivers traveling through Mount Vernon compared to the holiday in 2012, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Tuesday’s commute through the area saw a few morning traffic back-ups on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Tuesday afternoon commute through the area saw typical delays of 25 minutes through the detour.

Officials expect traffic patterns to shift as drivers adapt. Department of transportation engineers are still in the field monitoring traffic and working to improve traffic flow, for example, adjusting signal timing and adding signs, according to the press release.

The northern span of the Interstate 5 bridge spanning the Skagit River collapsed May 23 after an oversized trailer struck the overhang. National Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation of the collapse.

Department of Transportation crews are working to install a temporary bridge by mid-June and to replace the fallen span by mid-September, according to the release.

Workers continue to remove bridge debris and have made good progress—they have removed approximately three-quarters of the debris. However, they are now removing debris from the river, some of it embedded in the riverbed, and must proceed carefully and precisely.

Truckloads of bridge parts for the temporary bridge are rolling in. Tomorrow, the remaining pieces for the temporary bridge are expected to arrive and work to assemble the temporary bridge is expected to begin offsite, according to the press release.


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