The first of eight concrete girders arrived today at the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge, where workers are trying to erect a new span by early September.
The span would replace a bridge section that collapsed in May, after a truck’s overheight load smacked several beams. The new span will be supported from beneath by girders, instead of overhead trusswork.
Each of the 162-foot-long girders weighs 168,000 pounds, similar to a space shuttle, the state Department of Transportation says in an update.
Max J. Kuney of Spokane is lead contractor on the $7 million span replacement. Traffic currently moves on a military-style bridge made of reusable steel rods and beams.
Later this year, overhead crossbeams in the remaining three spans of the old bridge will be cut and rebuilt, to allow 18 feet of clearance in all four travel lanes, as described in this earlier Seattle Times story.