Eight enormous concrete girders that will support the permanent replacement span for the collapsed Interstate 5 Skagit River bridge began arriving at the bridge site on Tuesday.
The Washington State Department of Transportation said it expects to have all of the girders in place in the next two or three days. Crews will then spend two to three works working on the roadway's deck, barriers and other parts.
Once the girders arrive on site, two cranes will lift each of them into place. Each girder is about as long as the width of a football field (162 feet) and weighs a little more than a space shuttle (168,000 pounds).
Jay Drye, WSDOT assistant regional administrator, said that they are on track to replace the temporary span in early September, shortly after Labor Day weekend.
A full closure of I-5 will be needed to finish the job.
The project is necessary to replace the part of the Skagit River bridge that collapsed near Mount Vernon on May 23 after an oversized semi truck hit critical steel supports. The important roadway carries 71,000 vehicles daily.