According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), an excavator on a flatbed truck snagged the edge of Bellingham’s Alabama Street overpass, pulling a piece of rebar loose above southbound I-5.
The WSDOT’s Incident Response Team and other emergency responders quickly closed the right lane, which contained concrete debris from the collision with the overpass. Those first on scene kept the lane closed until WSDOT bridge and City of Bellingham crews were able to respond to the scene to inspect the damage.
Crews determined that the structure was safe, trimmed the loose piece of rebar, and then reopened the lane. They will do any needed repairs when traffic volumes are lower.
During the closure, there was bumper-to-bumper southbound traffic, backed up to Northwest Avenue. Northbound congestion was first due to a small crash, then most likely continued due to drivers slowing to check out the southbound crash scene.
The WSDOT would like to thank drivers for their patience while crews ensured that the area was safe. They also gave a few tips for local drivers:
- If you haven’t already, you can program 5-1-1 into your phone so you can call it, hands-free, to find out about blocking incidents along your route.
- If you have a smart phone, consider using a traffic mapping app which can let you know of alternate routes if a blocking incident, like this one, unexpectedly happens.
- If you have a passenger, you can have them check the “WSDOT North Traffic” Twitter feed for info on highway blocking situations.