Skagit bridge rebuilding shows what can happen when Olympia steps aside and lets professionals get the job done

Today a temporary bridge over the Skagit River on Interstate 5 was opened. The roadway had been closed since it partially collapsed on May 23 after being struck by an oversize load.

First of all, our sincere thanks goes out to the hard-working employees of the Department of Transportation who built a new bridge over the Skagit River and reopened this vital corridor. In particular, a debt of gratitude is owed to the DOT employees from the Mount Baker Regional office for their tireless efforts.

Our state has great employees at the Department of Transportation who know how to get projects like these done quickly and efficiently. We also have excellent private contractors who know how to partner with the state to complete projects.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. While many transportation projects linger for years, a bridge over the Skagit River was built and the road reopened in under a month. This is a great example of what can happen when we get Olympia politicians and bureaucrats out of the way and let the professionals get it done.

Let’s make the rebuilding of the Skagit River bridge the prototype for how Olympia operates, rather than an anomaly. We have the ability to create a state government that identifies and solves problems and we have an obligation to the people of our state to realize it.