MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - A demolition crew was brought in Saturday night to start the removal of the fallen Interstate 5 bridge in the Skagit River.
According to officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation, crews must remove the fallen span from the river before final inspections of the bridge and piers can be completed.
Once the inspections are done, engineers with WSDOT can start designing a preferred option to repair the bridge and planning to reopen the bridge.
One of four barges came in Saturday night that carried cranes to help with the removal process. On Sunday, divers will start hooking cables to the vehicles that fell into the river when the bridge collapsed.
“It’s going to be a complicated operation, actually. We need to remove those pieces very carefully because the National Transportation Safety Board wants to inspect them,” said Kris Olsen of the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The removal is expected to take three days.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News obtained surveillance video of Thursday night’s collapse. The camera only captured seconds of the incident because it was powered by electric lines destroyed by the falling bridge.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are continuing to investigate the collapse.
Gov. Jay Inslee will hold a news conference Sunday on plans to replace the bridge.
WSDOT is also recommending alternate detour routes to get around the bridge. They will be updating their site with the latest detours: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Construction/PugetSound/detourmap.htm