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Damage to I-5 northbound overpass at Portal Way after being struck by a trailered backhoe (March 10, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

I-5 northbound overpass at Portal Way damaged by backhoe

A backhoe being trailered westbound on Portal Way struck the northbound I-5 overpass while passing under it.

Portal Way was closed for a short time under the overpasses between the northbound on- and off-ramps and the roundabout while the extent of the damage was being assessed and debris cleaned up.

As of 3:15pm, Portal Way under the overpasses had been reopened to traffic but there was some discussion over the radio among emergency responders about the possibility of closing the road there again. I-5 traffic was not impacted by the incident.

The truck trailering the back hoe stopped immediately west of the overpasses.

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A Whatcom County Fire District 7 aid unit was in the area at the time the overpass was damaged and radioed their dispatch who then alerted Washington State Patrol and Washington State Department of Transportation. Ferndale Police assisted in traffic control while the road was closed.

A similar situation caused significant damage to the Birch Bay-Lynden overpass almost two years ago.

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