Travellers heading south from Vancouver to Seattle on the I-5 no longer have to make a lengthy detour to get around a damaged bridge over the Skagit River.

A temporary bailey bridge has now opened over the river, but drivers using the route will have to observe a strict speed limit of 40 mph and oversized vehicles will not be permitted to cross.

Three cars ended up in the river when a section of the bridge collapsed on May 23, but no one was seriously injured in the incident.

Officials believe the collapse occurred when an Alberta-based truck hauling an overheight load hit a supporting span.

Now the bailey bridge is in place, crews can turn their attention to construction of a new, $18 million, permanent span, which is expected to be installed sometime this fall.