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Southbound lanes of Interstate 5 Bridge reopen after police pursuit of Cowlitz County robbery suspect

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Date: 2021-12-23 16:02:50

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Two southbound lanes of the Interstate 5 Bridge were blocked for about 1½ hours late Wednesday afternoon for a police pursuit that ended on the bridge. The closure caused traffic headaches throughout the Vancouver area during the evening commute.

Police initially blocked all southbound lanes at 4:07 p.m. However, the right lane reopened about 15 minutes later, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The left and center lanes reopened around 5:30 p.m.

Traffic was diverted during the closure, and backed up on state Highway 14 and throughout downtown Vancouver. Washington State Patrol troopers assisted with traffic control, spokesman Will Finn said on Twitter.

By the time all lanes reopened, traffic on southbound I-5 was backed up to Hazel Dell, and southbound traffic on Interstate 205 was backed up as far north as the I-5 interchange in Salmon Creek. Traffic on westbound state Highway 500 was backed up to the 39th Street Exit.

According to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian, police were pursuing a robbery suspect from Cowlitz County, who was spotted at Vancouver’s Leverich Park in a blue Ford Explorer. They had called for SWAT to respond. At one point, police said the Ford’s tires were nearly flat.

Additional information was not immediately available.

Original Source: https://www.columbian.com/news/2021/dec/22/police-pursuit-of-cowlitz-county-robbery-suspect-blocks-southbound-interstate-5-bridge/