It now looks like it may be Friday before I-5 through Southwest Washington re-opens – and even then traffic may be limited to one lane.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond inspect the flooded lanes of Interstate 5 in Centralia.
The floodwaters are receding, but there’s still several feet of water over the interstate near Chehalis.
Washington Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond says crews are working around the clock to get the major North-South corridor operating again.
Paula Hammond: “The most important thing is to get that road open. So if we have to open one lane or even establish if a lane is damaged gravel part of the lane and just have trucks move through slowly we’re going to do that.”
Normally more than 50,000 cars and trucks would use that portion of I-5 daily. It’s estimated the closure is costing truckers $4 million a day.
Some big rigs are trying to get through the closure on surface streets, others are taking long detours over the Cascades.
There are also drivers who’ve decided to just wait the closure out at truckstops.