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I-5 Skagit River Bridge

I-5 Skagit River Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 26, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
I-5 Over Skagit River
Mt. Vernon: Skagit County, Washington: United States
Structure Type
Metal 6 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Curved T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1955 By Builder/Contractor: Peter Kiewit and Sons of Omaha, Nebraska

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
160 Feet (49 Meters)
Structure Length
1,112 Feet (339 Meters)
Roadway Width
56 Feet (17.07 Meters)
4 Main Span(s) and 8 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge was made infamous on May 23, 2013 when an oversize truck crashed into the overhead bracing of this truss bridge, causing one of the spans to collapse. Although this has resulted in the bridge being used (wrongly) by the media and other organizations as evidence of "crumbling infrastructure" the bridge itself was in good condition and the remaining spans are in good condition. The bridge collapse was simple physics. An oversize truck crashed into the bracing, which in turn damaged the truss causing it to collapse.

Following collapse and cleanup, a temporary Bailey truss was installed by June 19, 2013. By August 23, 2013, a new concrete beam span was built next to the Bailey truss on temporary piers and slid into place, providing a permanent replacement for the collapsed span. The sway bracing and portal bracing was also altered to remove the attractive arched design and make them flat to increase vertical clearance and prevent similar accidents in the future.

From a historic significance standpoint, this bridge is noted for its unusual design. With the exception of the end posts at the far ends of the truss span portion of the bridge, it features truss spans with vertical end posts, which make the bridge look like a continuous truss bridge, even though each span is a simple span. The extreme ends of the truss portion have inclined end posts, however this is only apparent at the south end today, due to the collapse of the northernmost truss span.


Photo Galleries and Videos: I-5 Skagit River Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
Bridge Collapse
Full Motion Video
Security camera video that was released showing the first moments of the bridge collapse. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: I-5 Skagit River Bridge

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