I-5 Skagit River Bridge

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PacTrans Special Call for White Papers due Jun 14, 2013



An Interstate 5 (I-5) bridge collapsed into the Skagit River at around 7 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2013, causing major transportation disruptions near Mount Vernon, Washington. Considering that I-5 is a major corridor along the west coast, carrying as much as $14 billion freight annually to and from Canada, the impact of this disruption is far reaching. This tragedy generates losses in both property and the economy, but it also offers an opportunity for collecting perishable data for transportation research.

This special call, based on funds from WSDOT and PacTrans will provide a combined total of $40K (this includes fringe & benefits) to fund a research project addressing the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5. Information on the circumstances surrounding the collapse can be found at:


Given the immediacy of the situation, we are soliciting short white papers (no more than one page) on research topics that address issues related to the bridge collapse. Topics of interest are listed below but others will be considered.

  • Analysis of the use of the emergency accelerated design build contracts
  • Opportunities to expedite NTSB forensics while maintaining quality
  • Synthesis of corrective actions/replacement
  • Adaptation of bridge to severe climate changes

The white papers are due Friday, Jun 14, 2013 and should clearly identify the following:

  • Specific research question
  • Tasks to be completed
  • Implications of the findings to address future issues in this area.

All work needs to be completed in approximately 6 months and should be summarized in a technical note.

WSDOT will review all proposal ideas and announce the award by the end of June.

For additional information, please contact Linda Boyle (206-616-0245, linda@uw.edu) or Kim Willoughby (360-705-7978, WillouK@wsdot.wa.gov).