Westbound state Route 16 reopened just after 8 p.m. after being closed for nearly seven hours at Olympic Drive Northwest when a semitrailer crashed into the overpass there this afternoon.
The truck with an oversized load lodged itself under the bridge and spread concrete debris across the road about 1:15 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.
Crews had to chip away damaged concrete and inspect the overpass before reopening the road below, though traffic could get through on the right shoulder during part of the closure, WSDOT spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker said.
She said about 5:45 p.m. that the bridge itself had reopened, with the exception of the west shoulder and sidewalk, which remained closed late tonight as a precaution.
The overpass is the same one that was hit by a too-tall truck about two years ago. The entire girder had to be replaced in that case, which was supposed to cost $600,000 and take about two months, though that work wasn’t expected to start until March 2012.
Records about when the overpass reopened after the 2011 crash were not immediately available today, Bingham Baker said.
Engineers will continue to assess the recent damage tomorrow, to determine if the girder will need to be replaced again, or if it can repaired, she said.