Getting around Skagit bridge detours is slow

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by CHRIS DANIELS and JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 28 at 12:40 PM

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- Drivers returned to work and school on Tuesday after a long holiday weekend and with detours now in place because of the collapsed Skagit River bridge. More than 71,000 drivers used the Interstate 5 span over the river every day.

The Washington state Department of Transportation has organized multiple northbound and southbound detour routes and WSDOT spokesperson Kris Olsen said the agency will be monitoring traffic flows closely on Tuesday morning to see if changes are needed.

Here's what a drive was like at 9:13 a.m. Tuesday for KING 5's Jake Whittenberg:

"Heading south, traffic was stopped before before we could even exit I-5 to take our detour. Then it was stop-and-go on George Hopper Road and Riverside. The closed stretch of I-5 is a mile-and-a-half and takes a few minutes on a typical day. It took us 21 minutes to get around it."

“We don’t have a choice, do we?” said Melissa Wright as she looked at the wreckage Monday night.  
 
The Mount Vernon mother of three says she is plotting the best route to get her 7-year-old son Luke to school in nearby Conway.
 
“We’re going to avoid the freeway altogether,” said Wright.

 

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