Detours for I-5 bridge collapse in Washington

| May 24, 2013
Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times

A large part of an Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River near Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed Thursday evening after an oversize truck hit an overhead span of the bridge, says a report from

Several vehicles fell into the river when it collapsed, though no one was injured. The collapse occurred about 60 miles north of Seattle, and detours are in place to mitigate congestion, says Time’s article.

The collapse apparently occurred after a truck made contact with the bridge, but investigators are still unsure whether the truck actually caused the bridge collapse or whether the crash occurred as the bridge was collapsing, reports say.

Authorities are unsure how long travel along the I-5 corridor will be affected, but the “corridor is totally disrupted” as of now, said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

They Washington Department of Transportation did release information on detours though:

Traffic heading south should take eastbound State Route 20, then go south on South Burlington Boulevard and west on East College Way (SR 538) to reconnect with I-5.

Traffic heading north should take eastbound East College Way to northbound Riverside Drive-South Burlington Boulevard, then west on George Hopper Road to I-5. Northbound traffic can also use State Route 9 by taking Exit 221 to SR 534 east to northbound SR 9 to westbound SR20 to I-5.

Here’s the detour map issued by WDOT:


  • No Reform

    Who was the driver? An illegal Alien unable to read common road signs?? What crazy company was this??

  • No Reform

    Doing a Fine job up there in Washington.

  • No Reform

    As our Professional Journeymen are driven OUT of trucking by the influx of Illegal Alien cheap labor drivers and The CSA DICTATORSHIP…this will be commonplace in the future…this “trucker had a Pilot Car…and Still they managed to knock the Bridge into the River? How stupid can it get?

  • leandean

    Canadian driver out of Alberta. He had permits.

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  • It Could Have Been You

    Just like most incidents out here on the road: Too many people jump to conclusions prior to hearing the real story.

    The question that lingers: How would those whom automatically jump to these conclusions feel if it were them that were the driver?

    I personally would want the truth to be made known based upon the facts.

    How easy is it to sit behind a computer screen or microphone making statements just merely to be heard?

    There is an old saying: It is an empty wagon that makes the most noise.

    Don’t you think it would be better to answer such basic questions as to who, what, where, when, why, and how? After that, you may could come to an educated guess.

    Stop voicing such inconclusive arguments and making judgements before someone may be holding them on you as well.

    God knows that none of us are perfect. And I am first to admit: I am not perfect!

    All of this sounds like the CB mumbo jumbo we hear every day out here on the road.

  • Joe Ammons

    No mumbo jumbo, he was too close behind his hi-pole, and either was too inexperienced to know enough to “take the whole road” when crossing a structure or he was just in way too much hurry to beat curfew. Eye witness testimony from another truck driver put him just 150 feet behind his pole car, other driver saw pole “tick” the gusset.

  • Rephil

    I find it hard to believe that this would have caused a collapse. There as to be more to than one truck hitting the span. It may have bin the last nail in the coffin but it had to be on the way down any way

  • jess mcclure

    this bridge was ready to go down , rust and lack of maintenance brought the bridge to its end – we have over 2,000 bridges like this one ready to go down – all built over 40 years or longer ago –

  • Dave R

    Sh*t happens. :-)

  • No Reform

    Yep..other reports say those Arch “supports” had been Bashed in Nov 2012 and engineer ordered Repairs to be made..but they had NOT been done YET…the old LOW CLEARANCE arches took their LAST blows and collapsed into the River..the STATE should have NEVER issued a Permit for THIS load to go on THAT bridge..the trucker Paid good money to get INFORMED routing from Washington….The State is LIABLE..the Clearance was too LOW and they Knew it..trying to blame the driver as usual. Records show they have 20 Bridge strikes annually in Washington…Im sure they didnt tell the Trucker THAT either??? They DID cheerfully take his MONEY and issue a Bogus Permit.

  • No Reform

    Trucker had 10 years experience with Oversize Loads…according to reports….the bridge lists at 17 feet..but at What part? It does have arching supports and apparently they are lower than any 17 feet butNo Markings to tell the driver….Nifty.

  • Joe Ammons

    I can appreciate that he had ten years experience with o/d loads, that does not excuse the obvious errors.
    Witnesses put him within 150 ft. of his pole car, and in right lane. Experience has taught me a long time ago, when o/d split the lanes hold your ground and stay in center, that is the one thing that a permit does for you. A permit does not excuse hitting low bridges guardrail, k-walls, or other fixed objects. And permit states convoy should maintain 300 ft. minimum spacing.

    The other item is that any structure over 16 ft does not require signage per FHWA.. Thus the pole car requirement

  • Fitz

    It seems apparent that the pilot car to load distance caused the final outcome but It can’t be overlooked that some mental midget issued this permit.

  • martymarsh

    I wouldn’t put any blame on the state, after all they did route him that way. But, as far as I’m concerned he shouldn’t have trusted no one but himself and used the left lane. As far as him bringing down the bridge, that was just the straw that broke the camels back, it was going to come down anyway and probably when it was crowded, so he probably did them a favor and saved them a lot of money in law suits.
    The evidence to that is how bad his load was damaged, it wasn’t bad at all. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.