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MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - The Department of Transportation opened the permanent span on the I-5 Skagit River bridge just before 2 p.m. Sunday, just months after an oversized truck hit critical steel supports, causing a collapse.

The state Transportation Department closed the span's temporary crossing around 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

The DOT says the contractor, Max. J. Kuney Company, expected the work to last about 12 hours, but cutting through the thick steel plates that secured the temporary span to the bridge piers took longer than expected, and added hours to their work.

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Officials had cautioned that the operation was complex and that the closure could be extended if things don't go according to plan.

There will be additional nighttime closures in the weeks to come as crews retrofit the overhead bridge supports.

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