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Originally published Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:05 AM

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Collapsed WA bridge was used by 71,000 cars a day

The Washington Transportation Department says an average of 71,000 vehicles a day used the stretch of Interstate 5 through Mount Vernon that is now blocked by the collapse of the Skagit River bridge.

The Associated Press

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MOUNT VERNON, Wash. —

The Washington Transportation Department says an average of 71,000 vehicles a day used the stretch of Interstate 5 through Mount Vernon that is now blocked by the collapse of the Skagit River bridge.

Mount Vernon is about 60 miles north of Seattle and 40 miles south of the Canada Border. The roadblock on both directions of I-5 is expected to cause a major disruption in trade and tourism between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Transportation Department has set up detours. The closest is nearby and mostly used for local traffic between Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The department also is recommending detours using Highway 20 and Highway 9 that add tens of miles to a trip.

Officials are urging drivers to avoid the area if possible.

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