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September 15, 2013 at 7:30 AM

UPDATE: New Skagit River Bridge opens

A powerboat zooms by the Skagit River Bridge as state Department of Transportation crews install the permanent concrete-girder span on Sunday near  Mount Vernon. The new, more secure span allowed drivers to return to normal highway speeds when the bridge opened Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

A powerboat zooms by the Skagit River Bridge as state Department of Transportation crews install the permanent concrete-girder span on Sunday near Mount Vernon. The new, more secure span allowed drivers to return to normal highway speeds when the bridge opened Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

The new permanent replacement span over the Skagit River has reopened — nearly seven hours later than originally planned.

The state Department of Transportation said the new north span was opened to traffic just before 2 p.m. Sunday, much later than the expected 7 a.m. opening. The open was delayed initially because the cutting of steel plates to secure the new permanent bridge took longer than expected, says DOT.

Then work crews had to wait for newly painted stripes on the roadway to dry.

Construction teams had worked overnight to slide a new 915-ton bridge span over the river to replace a temporary span.

The original north span of the freeway bridge collapsed May 23 when a tall truckload hit several overhead crossbeams. A military-style bridge was temporarily installed June 19, with a reduced speed limit of 40 mph.

Drivers had to detour through the business district of Burlington until the new span was opened to traffic.

To see a time-lapse of the new permanent span being moved into place, click here.

 

Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: Skagit River bridge, Washington State Department of Transportation

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