5/22/15 10:45am – FINAL UPDATE
The westbound lane of Birch Bay-Lynden Road will remain closed until repairs can be made to the overpass.
WSDOT bridge engineers discovered damaged on two of the overpass’ girders, and determined that one girder will need to be replaced. Information gathered from today’s emergency inspection will determine the processes to replace and repair the damaged girders. Permanent repairs for the damaged bridge are estimated to cost $1 million or more.
6pm – The WSDOT camera shows both southbound lanes of I-5 are now open at the Birch Bay-Lynden overpass.
4:55pm – A automated signal is being installed on the overpass to allow for alternating west/eastbound traffic flow while the westbound lane is expected to be closed for “some time.”
Could be the right lane of I-5 will remain closed for “some time” as well. Expect delays in the area with holiday traffic over the weekend.
4:15pm – The right lane of I-5 southbound is still closed approaching and under the overpass. Unknown if the westbound lane of Birch Bay-Lynden Road is still closed (no WSDOT camera to confirm) but presumably WSDOT inspectors and workers who are on the scene working on the impact area need access to that lane.
2pm – According to Washington State Trooper Mark Francis, “Semi/Excavator that struck the Birch Bay overpass was 16′ 7″ tall & the overpass is 15′ 11″ tall. Driver cited for over legal height.” WSDOT reports eastbound of Birch Bay-Lynden Road has reopened and westbound remains closed. Still no ETA on reopening the closed right lane of southbound I-5 under the Birch Bay-Lynden Road overpass.
1pm – Both westbound and eastbound lanes of Birch Bay-Lynden Road are closed over I-5 The right lane of I-5 southbound remains closed under the overpass.
11:45am – The westbound lane of Birch Bay-Lynden Road has been closed on the overpass. The right lane of I-5 southbound has been closed under the overpass.
11:35am – Vehicles damaged by fallen debris from the overpass can be seen pulled off the road past the overpass. At least one was disabled and required a tow. Exposed rebar visible where overpass was struck. Debris may continue to fall and the right southbound lane has been closed. (pics)
11:15am – the right lane I-5 southbound may soon close due to debris in the roadway. (pic)
11:00am – a vehicle suspected of hitting the overpass has been located in the southbound Custer rest area. (pic)
10:40am – It was reported that a dump truck towing an excavator struck the Birch Bay-Lynden Road I-5 overpass. Concrete debris on the road and exposed rebar on the overpass over the southbound lanes was also reported.
While Birch Bay-Lynden Road is a bit to the north of Ferndale, if the overpass is required to be closed, traffic will be detoured to the Grandview I-5 interchange and this will result in a direct impact on traffic in and around Ferndale.