Here’s what WSDOT’s inspection of the Whatcom I-5 overpass struck by an excavator found

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The closure devices along the Interstate 5 overpass of Portal Way in Whatcom County are gone and the shoulder has reopened, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported Tuesday evening.

The shoulder remained closed after an excavator on a flatbed trailer being towed by a truck hit the under side of the overpass Sunday afternoon, Nov. 21, damaging the girders of the overpass.

After preliminary inspections allowed traffic to resume over the bridge Sunday evening, WSDOT engineers returned Monday to further inspect the overpass.

“WSDOT’s Bridge Engineers found the girders of the bridge can continue to carry legal loads,” WSDOT spokesperson Meggan Carrigg Davidson told The Bellingham Herald in an email Tuesday evening.

Repairs will still need to be made to the girders, Carrigg Davidson reported, but that work is scheduled to be completed in early 2022.

The incident occurred at approximately 3:40 p.m. Sunday, the Ferndale Police Department told The Herald through city spokesperson Sherry DeJong, after a large truck that was pulling a flatbed trailer with the excavator drove under the overpass and hit the rafters with the arm of the excavator.

“The collision caused noticeable damage to both the overpass and the excavator,” Ferndale police said.

Both northbound I-5 and Portal Way under the interstate were closed for approximately four hours. while WSDOT inspected the overpass, evaluating the damage and the structural integrity of the overpass. The shoulder remained closed until Monday’s inspection.

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