Shortly after the bridge collapse, Google Maps was updated with the I-5 span removed.

If you’re traveling on Interstate 5 this Memorial Day Weekend and need directions, Google Maps is going to be your best bet.

Why? Well, Google has already updated its map to show Thursday night’s collapse of the 58-year-old bridge spanning the Skagit River.

Skagit River bridge. Photo via KING 5
Skagit River bridge. Photo via KING 5

See for yourself at Google Maps. You’ll notice that there’s a big gap missing where the I-5 bridge once stood before crashing into the Skagit River around 7 p.m. Thursday night.

The quick update is likely the result of public contribution to Google Map Maker, a service that allows people to submit changes to Google Maps that often show up after review. (Learn more about Google Map Maker here).

Bing’s map still shows I-5 crossing the river.

For what it’s worth, Microsoft’s Bing Maps still shows the bridge standing.

Our news partner KING 5 reported that an oversized vehicle hit the bridge, and caused the collapse. In what’s being called a miracle, no fatalities were reported. Three people were rescued from the water.

Structural engineers will no doubt be spending lots of time analyzing the incident, and Washington state certainly has a history of famous bridge collapses.

You can follow the latest on Twitter with #skagitbridge and #I5BridgeCollapse.

Mount Vernon is located about 60 miles north of Seattle. I-5 is the main north-to-south artery in the state, connecting Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle.

UPDATE, 3:30 P.M.

WSDOT posted these photos of the bridge:

bridge21 bridge12

Follow-upINRIX reacts quickly to I-5 bridge collapse, says traffic delays minimal right now

Hat tip to @MatthewKeysLive

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Jacek Kopecký

    The map shows it correctly, but driving directions will still guide you over that bridge. The database for turn-by-turn directions is apparently not the same as the one used to draw the streets.

    • Torrey

      We’re working on it :-)

      • johnhcook

        That’s right. I wondered that too, and got the below message when asked for directions between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Interestingly, if you ask Google maps for directions using the “avoid highways” option it suggests a route that would take 4 hours and 32 minutes. With I-5 open, it is an estimated time of 2 hours and 23 minutes.

        In others words, good luck getting to BC this weekend (or this summer for that matter.

        • Mitch

          if going south, all you have to do is get off at George Hopper Road… take a left to Riverside rd, take a right on Riverside, and another right on to College… and get back on the freeway…. Reverse these directions if you are heading north. Easy as pie… 6 minute detour.

          • mitch

            p.s. Riverside Drive and S Burlington are the same road.. Bruce, the third one you see is railroad only, I think. We go up there a lot because there are tons of outlet stores up there.

        • Bruce

          There are two other bridges nearby, one about 1/2 mile east and the other 2 miles south. Under normal circumstances these would add 5-10 minutes to the drive. These aren’t normal circumstances of course.

          • Mitch

            The one to the south goes through Mt Vernon… College is a way better option

  • Glassman

    OpenStreetMap was updated shortly after the collapse by a volunteer.

  • Paul Furio

    The miracle would have been the bridge not collapsing.

  • anon

    Did you try routing thru it? Apparently Google thinks you can drive on water.

Job Listings on GeekWork