A bridge over the Skagit River on Interstate 5 collapsed into the river below when an over-sized truck carrying a large load struck a steel truss on Thursday.
The bridge collapse took two vehicles and three people with it into the water below. Fortunately, no one was killed and no one was critically injured in the bridge accident.
Now, Washington state residents are coping with the ensuing traffic problems on an important corridor carrying more than 70,000 vehicles a day. Traffic detours may plague Western Washington for some time until a repair or replacement is in place.
This bridge failure has made national news because it’s a warning that many of the United State’s bridges are in need of repair or replacement. As a Washington injury attorney, I am concerned about the fact that so many bridges are “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete” and could collapse resulting in more injuries – or even deaths – than the recent bridge failure on Interstate 5.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has been warning for quite some time that we are spending less money than we should on maintaining the nation’s bridges.
In fact, nearly 400 of Washington state’s bridges are rated as “structurally deficient” while we spend money on building “lids” over State Route 520 to appease residents of some wealthy enclaves in the Puget Sound region.
Washington Governor Jan Inslee is pushing for a 10-cent a gallon gas tax increase to pay for an $8.5 billion transportation package.
As many politic for more money to repair our current transportation infrastructure, there is a call to shift priorities to our infrastructure. The loss of even one life is too costly of a price to pay to allow our legislature and the Washington Department of Transportation to ignore bridge safety.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in automobile accidents and the family of those killed.