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Top Ten Stories of 2013: No. 7; I-5 Skagit bridge collapse

A hovercraft crew examine a capsized automobile following the May 23 collapse of the I-5 Skagit River bridge.   - Contributed photo / Jennifer Buchanan, Everett Daily Herald
A hovercraft crew examine a capsized automobile following the May 23 collapse of the I-5 Skagit River bridge.
— image credit: Contributed photo / Jennifer Buchanan, Everett Daily Herald

On May 23, the northern section of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon collapsed. The incident was caused when a southbound Mullen Trucking Co. truck hauling a large housing for mining equipment clipped one or more load-bearing supporting struts as it crossed the bridge. The over-height truck was accompanied by a pilot car with a vertical measuring pole which, according to witnesses, also struck the bridge in front of the truck following behind.

Three people were rescued from two vehicles that plunged into the water along with the bridge. All three were unharmed and released from local hospitals after being checked out and warmed up. A temporary bridge was erected on June 19 allowing thru traffic on I-5.

Local business owners in the Skagit Valley and surrounding areas, including the San Juans, were concerned that the bridge collapse would negatively affect business. In response to this concern,  $150,000 was released from the strategic reserve account to support economies in impacted areas. Businesses impacted by the collapse were encouraged to report economic losses to county emergency management officials.

— Cali Bagby

 

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