Smooth ride for I5 closure

first_imgUPDATE: Interstate 5 is flowing in Vancouver after work was completed about midnight.“Our contractor did a brilliant job of planning this work so they could maximize every second the interstate was closed,” Heidi Sause said this morning. She is a public information officer for the Washington State Department of Transportation.“Things went very smoothly. It was an incredible day.“Northbound was open about 11:20 p.m. and both directions were fully opened just after midnight.”ORIGINAL STORY: Washington State Department of Transportation said its goal was to reopen Interstate 5 in time for the Monday morning work commute.“But if everything goes well, it should be reopened for the Sunday drive to church,” said Allen Hendy, WSDOT project manager, standing on the empty stretch of the interstate on a sunny Saturday afternoon.In fact, it was even earlier than that. At about 11 p.m. Saturday — after The Columbian’s press time — WSDOT announced that it had opened the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 and was to open the freeway to southbound traffic by midnight.As he surveyed the construction scene along the closed section of freeway at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Hendy happily announced that work to place 12 monolithic concrete girders over the interstate was well ahead of schedule.The placement of the girders, and the closure of I-5, was one of the largest construction components of the Salmon Creek Interchange Project, a $133 million effort to remake the northern convergence of I-5 and Interstate 205.last_img