I-5 reopens, closes, opens again in Washington

| 12/7/2007

A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in Washington that was shut down by flooding on Monday, Dec. 3, was reopened Friday, only to be temporarily closed again.

Late Thursday, Dec. 6, one lane in each direction was opened to trucks only. Alice Fiman of the Washington Department of Transportation explained on “Land Line Now” on XM Channel 171 why truckers got the first shot.

“There was still some damage on the highway and we were really trying to get that interstate route open to all the commercial vehicles that had been waiting,” said Fiman.

“We realize that route is vital to the commercial economy and we wanted to get the truckers moving. It just wasn’t safe for passenger vehicle traffic at that time because there was still some gravel on the roadway and we only had one open lane in each direction.”

Some reports from the region indicated that as many as 1,000 trucks were waiting for the highway to open Thursday so they could head south.

Friday morning, I-5 was opened to all traffic, only to be shut down again after DOT officials decided that more work needed to be done repositioning Jersey barriers and fixing other problems.

Fiman said police were scheduled to bring traffic to a rolling stop on the interstate around 9:30 a.m. Friday and hoped to get everyone moving again by noon.