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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Topic: I-5 detour

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May 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

How to avoid the travel snarls after I-5 bridge collapse

The collapsed bridge on Interstate-5 at Mount Vernon that's snarling travel in Western Washington. (Mike Siegel photo / The Seattle Times)

The collapsed bridge on Interstate-5 at Mount Vernon that’s snarling travel in Western Washington. (Mike Siegel photo / The Seattle Times)

If you’re trying to get from the Seattle area to the San Juan Islands or other places  in Northwest Washington or British Columbia, you’ll need to find a way to get around the closure of Interstate-5 in both directions at Mount Vernon because of the bridge collapse.  

 Signposted detours are taking drivers off I-5  – here’s an official map  of the southbound and northbound detours (and phone 511 for traffic updates or  get a mobile state  traffic app).   But be ready for   long delays on the  detour routes right  in Mount Vernon.  So get creative, either by driving different roads or taking alternate transport.   Some suggestions:

  If you’re heading for the ferries to the San Juan Islands or Victoria, B.C, and need to get to the Anacortes ferry terminal, get off I-5 farther south. Take exit 221, bound for Conway, and then

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Comments | More in Northwest | Topics: Bridge collapse, I-5 closure, I-5 detour

May 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Despite bridge collapse, San Juan Islands say ‘come anyway’

If you're heading for the ferry to the San Juan Islands, you'll need to detour around the fallen bridge on Interstate 5. (Betty Udesen photo / The Seattle Times)

If you’re heading for the ferry to the San Juan Islands, you’ll need to detour around the fallen bridge on Interstate 5. (Betty Udesen photo / The Seattle Times)

If you have a hotel booking in the San Juan Islands for this weekend, the word from the islands is: Please try to come anyway. But if you need to cancel, call and you might get a sympathetic ear.

For the tourism-dependent San Juans, the Interstate 5 bridge collapse could hardly have happened at a worst time — the Memorial Day Weekend kickoff of the tourist season.

The I-5 bridge that fell into the Skagit River is just south of the most-used exit, the Burlington exit to Highway 20, for island-bound motorists coming from the Seattle area.

Island promoters Friday morning encouraged visitors to

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Comments | More in Northwest | Topics: I-5 bridge collapse, I-5 detour, San Juan Islands detour