A temporary bridge over the Skagit River will open today, restoring Interstate 5 traffic less than a month after the old bridge collapsed.
Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson says the temporary span will carry 99 percent of I-5 traffic. Oversized and overweight loads will still be detoured.
After the bridge collapsed on May 23, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee set a goal of restoring it by mid-June. He went to Mount Vernon on Tuesday to inspect the span and praised workers for completing in days what normally would have taken months.
At 24-feet wide, the 160-foot temporary section is narrower than the old bridge and traffic will have to slow to 40 mph.
The temporary span and a permanent replacement due this fall will cost nearly $18 million.