American Elephants

The New Skagit River Bridge Is Open for Business by The Elephant's Child


The new permanent replacement span over the Skagit River has been rolled into place and reopened, though seven hours later than scheduled. It was expected to open at 7 a.m. but the cutting of steel plates took longer than expected, and then work crews had to wait for newly painted stripes on the roadway to dry.

Construction crews worked overnight to slide a new 915 ton bridge into place to replace a temporary military style span installed on June 19. We wrote about the collapse on May 24, to point out that it was neither “spectacular” nor was it one of President Obama’s “crumbling roads and bridges” as David Axlerod tried to claim. It is an important bridge on I-5 between Vancouver BC and all points south from Seattle to San Diego.

Perhaps it was a slow week, but the media wanted to jump on the event as a very big deal, envisioning a rushing river and spectacular bridge. Coastal River, not the Grand Canyon.  Good Job, DOT.

The Skagit River Bridge (temporary) Reopens Tomorrow. by The Elephant's Child


Governor Jay Inslee has announced that a temporary bridge to replace the collapsed Skagit River Bridge will open tomorrow. This is on I-5 between Seattle and Vancouver B.C. and has slowed traffic with a detour since May 24. A temporary bridge in place with slightly reduced speed limits in just 24 days is not bad.

The Media, always hotly in pursuit of a dramatic story, made a great deal out of the collapse, which was due to a truck with an extra wide load striking a major bridge support, rather than President Obama’s  favorite “crumbling roads and bridges” didn’t measure up in the drama department.

Traffic can once again move smoothly, and end the backups on the bridge detour. Good job.

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