Construction crews spent Saturday night on the Skagit River Bridge installing a permanent replacement for the section that collapsed four months ago.
Detours started at about 7 p.m., as crews started cutting the steel on the temporary span. Moving it out of the way requires two hydraulic jacks and then sliding the temporary bridge on Teflon pads and long steel rails.
Once it's out of the way they plan to move the permanent cement bridge into place.
The work drew a crowd as people came to watch the progress. “To come up here and watch the progress is amazing, it's really amazing,” Emily Olson said.
Many brought binoculars and cameras to get a better look at the work. “This is the major link to Canada, we have to get commerce going again,” Les Walker said.
Chuck Lundberg has been watching the progress since the bridge collapsed in May and hoped to watch when they moved the permanent bridge into place. WSDOT said that likely wouldn’t happen until the early morning hours.
For some, that sounded too late. “I might have to go home and come back in the morning,” Lundberg said.
The goal is to do all of the work by 7 a.m. Sunday but the Department of Transportation warns there could be some delays.
On Sunday both Senator Maria Cantwell and Governor Jay Inslee will be on the scene to talk about the bridge project.
The DOT says there could be more closures down the road as crews retrofit the overhead bridge supports.