Bridge collapse bogs down Burlington traffic

by: Chris Legeros Updated:

BURLINGTON, Wash. - A collapsed bridge in Skagit County is causing major headaches for drivers headed north and south on Interstate 5 this Memorial Day weekend after the span was hit by a truck and fell into the Skagit River.

The detour around the fallen bridge is generating bumper-to-bumper traffic in Burlington. Big rigs are clogging south Burlington Boulevard, along with cars and recreational vehicles headed out for the holiday.

One driver said, “it's a pain." 

Another said “it was chaos." 

The backup could prove to be much more than an inconvenience to business owners in the area. Reed Avery said it could be a breaking point for him. 

 Avery has a small trucking company that delivers recycled scrap metal to steel mills in Seattle and Tacoma. He said he's been operating on a shoestring while battling high fuel prices. If his trucks get stuck in traffic and he has to pay his drivers more to be on the road, it could put him under. 

Right now, his trucks make two trips a day. Avery said if they're delayed and can't make both trips, then he can't deliver metal to the mills.