I-5 Skagit River Bridge Emergency Design-Build

Mt. Vernon, Washington: Emergency Design-Build Contract to replace a fallen bridge span on I-5 over the Skagit River in just three months.

Project Details

Span 8 of the Skagit River Bridge was struck by an oversized load on May 23, 2013. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) quickly removed the debris and installed temporary bridges with weight restrictions. On June 17, 2013 they accepted bids from only a short list of Northwest contractors with design-build experience to design-build a permanent replacement for the span. On June 19, 2013 Max J Kuney Company was awarded the design-build contract based on a best value scoring system. Our team committed to opening the new span in early September, with minimal I-5 closers. On September 15, 2013, we delivered on our promise and set in place the permanent replacement span designed and built in less than three months.

In order to minimize the impact on the public, the new span needed to be built quickly while maintaining top quality and staying under weight restrictions imposed by setting a new span on top of old piers. MJK utilized lightweight concrete, lightweight girders, and a microsilica overlay for the deck surface. The new span was constructed adjacent to the bridge, and skidded into place during an 18 hour I-5 closure.

Project specs

  • Location: Mt. Vernon, Washington
  • Owner: Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Timeframe: 2013
  • Size: $6.8 million


  • 2014 Alliant BUILD AMERICA AWARD for Highway and Transportation under $10M Renovation - AGC of America
  • 2014 Disaster / Emergency Project of the Year Award - Washington State Department of Transportation
  • 2013 BUILD NORTHWEST AWARD for Construction Excellence - Inland NW AGC
  • 2013 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award - ASCE