July 24, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Curved, low Skagit Bridge crossbeams will be raised
The state will cut the curved crossbeams of the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge this fall and replace them with level beams, so that trucks have a uniform clearance of 18 feet in all four lanes.
The $4.5 million project, federally funded, will require 40 overnight closures, most of which affect one direction of traffic, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. The 25 crossbeams will be sliced so that new steel segments can be fastened, to replace the downward-sloping outer sections.
The job is meant to prevent a repeat of the May 23 collapse that caused a span to fall into the river, followed by four weeks of congestion and detours on nearby Burlington Boulevard until a temporary crossing could be installed. A permanent span is due in September.
The May crash happened when a 15-foot, 9-inch load hit a bridge beam that is only 15 feet, 6 inches at the fog line and even shorter over the shoulders. To pass safely, the trucker should have been in the left lane where clearance is nearly 18 feet.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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