I-5 bridge officially reopens after collapse in May

Updated Sep 17, 2013
An artist’s rendering of the replacement bridge set in June.An artist’s rendering of the replacement bridge set in June.

The Interstate 5 bridge that collapsed over the Skagit River in Washington in late May and caused major disruption of the West Coast corridor reopened this weekend after a permanent span of bridge was added, replacing a temporary span that had been in place since mid-June.

The bridge collapsed after a truck struck one of the support beams, says a Washington Department of Transportation report. The trucker piloting the oversized load that made contact with the bridge says he felt crowded by a tractor-trailer passing him on the left and moved right, when the 2010 Kenworth struck a load-bearing part of the bridge.

No one was hurt or injured. Two passenger vehicles, however, did fall into the river.

The truck had a pilot vehicle that had a clearance pole 16 feet, 2 inches high, which reportedly cleared the bridge. The driver said he thought his load was 15 feet, 9 inches tall. The lowest portions of the bridge, however, were 14 feet, 8 inches.

The bridge officially reopened Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m.

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