BRITISH COLUMBIA

Skagit River Bridge I-5 Detour

05/30/2013 06:03 EDT | Updated 05/31/2013 12:52 EDT
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MT. VERNON, WASHINGTON - MAY 23: Crews survey the scene of a bridge collapse on Interstate 5 on May 23, 2013 near Mt. Vernon, Washington. I-5 connects Seattle, Washington to Vancouver B.C., Canada. No deaths have been reported, and three people were taken to hospitals with injuries. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The bridge is out on Interstate 5 over the Skagit River, but that's not the only way to get to Seattle and beyond this weekend.

The Washington Department of Transportation (WDOT) has reported minor delays since the bridge collapse between Mount Vernon and Burlington but has posted a series of detours on its website to help weekend shoppers and others get around the gap.

Southbound commuters can take exit 229 on the I-5 and follow signs east on to George Hopper Road, then head south on Riverside Drive/Burlington Boulevard. Drivers can then take a right on to State Route 538/East College Way to get back on the interstate.

Another southbound route requires commuters to take exit 230 and follow signs west to State Route 20, then head south on to Avon Allen Road. Drivers can then head east on State Route 536/Memorial Highway to get back on the I-5.

Those detours are seeing their biggest delays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., but travel times have been lighter between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and after 7 p.m., Laura Johnson, a communications consultant with the WDOT, told The Huffington Post B.C.

Commuters can expect their trips to take at least as 10 to 15 minutes longer than they would if they could go over the bridge, she added.

Border wait times have been busiest at the Peace Arch Crossing, with commuters sitting in traffic for up to 30 minutes on a normal day, but that could double or triple by the weekend, said WDOT spokesperson Broch Bender.

She recommends that commuters use the Sumas Crossing, which will allow commuters to hit the I-5 while avoiding the Skagit River closure altogether.

Peace Arch border wait times were as long as 90 minutes at peak periods over the Victoria Day weekend, but they only reached as high as 35 minutes last Saturday, the day after the bridge collapse, according to WDOT data.

By contrast, the Sumas crossing reached up to 54 minutes at peak times on the Victoria Day weekend, while dropping to only 17 minutes last Saturday.

AmTrak is also adding an additional train service between Seattle and Bellingham to help move people and goods around the fallen bridge, The Portland Business Journal reported.

The detours will have to suffice as officials build a temporary bridge over the Skagit River, work that is expected to finish in mid-June, The Associated Press reported.

AmTrak is also adding an additional train service between Seattle and Bellingham to help move people and goods around the fallen bridge, The Portland Business Journal reported.

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