Temporary fix for collapsed Washington bridge expected mid-June

A span of highway bridge sits in the Skagit River May 24, 2013 after collapsing near the town of Mt Vernon, Washington late Thursday. REUTERS/Cliff DesPeaux
A span of highway bridge sits in the Skagit River May 24, 2013 after collapsing near the town of Mt Vernon, Washington late Thursday. REUTERS/Cliff DesPeaux

A permanent replacement for the section of a Washington state freeway bridge that collapsed last week is expected in place by early autumn, and a temporary span could be up by mid-June, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said on Sunday.

A 160-foot (48-meter) section of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River about 55 miles north of Seattle collapsed on Thursday after being struck by a truck carrying an oversize load. Two vehicles behind the truck plunged into the frigid waters below, and three people were plucked from the river with non-life-threatening injuries.

The remaining portion of the bridge has been inspected and will not need to be replaced, Inslee said in a statement.

“We will install a temporary span on the bridge that will restore traffic while we build a safe and durable permanent span adjacent to it,” Inslee said.

The temporary span will accommodate fewer vehicles traveling slower than the normal limit of 60 miles per hour, the governor said.

Once the temporary span is in place, crews will begin working on the permanent replacement.

“The home stretch will be a two week total closure of I-5 likely in September as crews remove the temporary structure and move the permanent bridge into place,” Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said in a statement.

Inspection records show the bridge had been struck multiple times by vehicles over the past 10 years, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said on Sunday.

Before Thursday, the most recent documented vehicle strike occurred in October, leaving visible gouge marks in the steel truss.

“This bridge has a history of over-height vehicle hits,” Hersman said.

The flatbed truck that caused the collapse, operated by Mullen Trucking, of Alberta, Canada, was permitted by the Washington State Department of Transportation to carry a load with a height of 15 feet and 9 inches.

The truck driver told investigators he repeatedly measured the height of his load at 15 feet, 9 inches Hersman said. The truck was traveling southbound in the right lane when it struck the bridge, she said.

The bridge clearance was shorter on the sides than in the middle. Its lowest clearance point was 14 feet, 6 inches while the highest point was in the middle, measuring 18 feet, Hersman said.

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Marguerita Choy)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.