bridge collapse

The Washington State Patrol has ticketed the driver of an oversize load that collapsed the Skagit River Bridge in May of 2013.

There are 63,000 structurally deficient bridges across the U.S., and the fund to fix them is drying up, according to a new report from the trade group American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Courtesy of WSDOT

UPDATE: 9/9/2013, 1:30 p.m. PT

The Washington state Department of Transportatation says the new replacement bridge on I-5 over the Skagit River should be ready to drive on Sunday morning.

WSDOT officials say the weather’s drying out enough to pour concrete on the replacement span that’s being constructed adjacent to the temporary bridge. Recent heavy rains have delayed the pouring operation. After the concrete cures, they’ll slide the new bridge into place.

KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

There are more than 200 bridges in Washington that could collapse if a key part fails. They’re classified as being fracture-critical, just like the Interstate 5 span that plummeted into the Skagit River in May after it was hit by an oversized load. Out of those fracture-critical bridges, at least three others have been struck multiple times in the past five years. Experts say repeated bridge strikes can potentially cause catastrophic problems.

Failed Bridges In Washington's History

Jun 24, 2013
WSDOT Photo

Last month's I-5 Skagit River bridge collapse is just one of a number of major bridge failures in Washington's history. Washington is home to four of the nation's 11 floating bridges, two of which have sunk. Here is a look at the state's highest-profile bridge failures.

KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel

From I-5 North, you can look to your left and see the Skagit Valley Food Co-op. It’s right in downtown Mount Vernon, just south of the Skagit River and the bridge collapse. Jodie Buller is the Outreach and Marketing Coordinator at the co-op, and the day after the bridge collapse, she was feeling pretty optimistic.

“Traffic wasn’t bad downtown,” she recalls. “And people were in that camaraderie zone, you know? A lot of checking in, and then it was just dead in here over Memorial Day weekend.”  

Lead in text: 
There's a lot of water in Washington state, and therefore a lot of bridges. Transportation for America put together the numbers of structurally deficient bridges by state county and compared Washington to the rest of the country. There's good news: Washington is ranked 46 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) in structurally deficient bridges. Pennsylvania performed the worst with 24.5 percent of bridges considered deficient.
News

Traffic is rolling across the repaired Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River Wednesday morning, marking the end of  a hasty, round-the-clock salvage and reconstruction job.

Work started less than four weeks ago, when an oversize load brought down the vital bridge.  Northwest Washington drivers and businesses are relishing a return to normal.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

Federal investigators released a preliminary report Tuesday about last month’s I-5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River. The report says the driver of the truck that struck the bridge before it fell had moved over closer to the edge of the bridge because of a passing truck.

Senate Republican Proposes Bridge Collapse Prevention Bill

May 31, 2013
Harley Soltes

Republican State Senator Michael Baumgartner tells Ross Reynolds about a bill he’s proposed this week to try to prevent future bridge collapses. It would ban trucks that are too tall from traveling on certain bridges.  Senator Baumgartner represents the 6th Legislative District in Spokane.

Ruby DeLuna

Thursday night's bridge collapse has put a spotlight on truckers who carry oversized loads. Preliminary reports suggest that a truck that clipped a bridge support is what caused the spectacular collapse.