Bridge repairs on State Route 536 in Mount Vernon begin March 5

MOUNT VERNON – Drivers who travel across the Skagit River using the Division Street Bridge on State Route 536 will see an unusual site next week – barges in the water. Contractor crews working on behalf of the Washington State Department of Transportation will mobilize equipment to repair the part of the bridge that was damaged during the historic floods in November 2021.

The bridge remains safe for vehicle and pedestrian travel. Contractor crews will begin repairs by removing the logs from the log jam that are still caught around the bridge. Crews will then remove the damaged sections of the draw rest, which is where the bridge is positioned when it is open to river traffic and protects the rotating mechanism underneath the bridge that allows it to operate, before replacing them with new wooden material. This work is expected to take approximately three weeks, weather permitting.

What can travelers expect

All of the repair work will take place from the water with no lane closures or impact to traffic on the bridge or nearby SR 536. The work may create a visual distraction as there is rarely marine traffic in this area. People who wish to take a closer look are encouraged to park in a designated area and do so from a safe location.

History of the bridge

The Division Street Bridge is a movable swing bridge – one that pivots in the middle to allow marine traffic to pass – that carries vehicles and pedestrians east and west across the Skagit River. It was originally constructed in 1954 with a total length of 674 feet. The swing function of this bridge has not operated since 1967; however an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires that the bridge must be able to open to large marine traffic on the river within one year of the request.

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