The U.S. Transportation Department has allocated $15.6 million in federal emergency funds to Washington state to help repair the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River, which collapsed May 23.
A section of the four-lane bridge, located 60 miles north of Seattle, fell into the river after an overhead beam was struck by a truck with an oversized load, disrupting travel in both directions.
The funding follows $1 million in quick release emergency relief provided the day after the collapse. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will use the funds to build a new replacement span. In the interim, WSDOT continues to operate detours and is building a temporary bridge. When the new replacement span is complete, WSDOT will remove the temporary bridge and install the new span.
“People and businesses have been impacted while this bridge is out of commission, and that hurts both the local and national economy,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, in a statement. “We are providing the state with the federal support it needs to restore this critical link.”
The bridge carries an estimated 71,000 vehicles each day and is a major commercial route between Washington and Canada. About 11 percent of the vehicles are commercial trucks transporting goods between the two countries.
The Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.