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Old 05-25-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
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Default Proceed with Caution: 10 Risky U.S. Bridges

Time - Found 41 minutes ago
A lone helicopter leaves the scene as night falls after the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge which includes all lanes of US Interstate 5 Bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., May 23, 2013. The recentĀcollapse of a major freeway bridge in Washington State has raised concerns about U.S. ...
Bridge Failure in Washington Spotlights Repair Needs Across U.S. - Washington Post
Witness to Washington bridge collapse: "It was pretty horrific" - CNN
Driver horrified by scene in rearview mirror after load hits I-5 bridge, road falls into river - Washington Post
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Proceed with Caution: 10 Risky U.S. Bridges
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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Bridge Collapse A Wake-Up Call...

NTSB says Wash. bridge collapse is wake-up call
May 26, 2013 - Other over-height vehicles had hit the Skagit River bridge before its collapse Thursday.
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The collapse of an Interstate highway bridge in northern Washington state is a wake-up call for the entire nation, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board says. Investigators need to find out what happened at the I-5 span 60 miles north of Seattle and if it could be repeated at similar bridges around the country, Debbie Hersman said Saturday. "This is a really significant event and we need to learn from it, not just in Washington but around the country," Hersman said after taking a boat ride on the Skagit River below the dramatic scene where a truck bumped against the steel framework, collapsing the bridge and sending two vehicles and three people falling into the chilly water. "At the end of the day it's about preventing an accident like this," she said.

Her team will spend a week to 10 days looking at the bridge, talking to the truck driver whose vehicle hit it, and examining maintenance documents and previous accident reports. Other over-height vehicles struck the Skagit River bridge before the collapse on Thursday, she noted. Investigators are using a high tech 3-D video camera to review the scene and attempt to pinpoint where the bridge failure began. Hersman does not expect the investigation to delay removal of debris from the river or work on a temporary solution to replace or repair the I-5 span. State and federal officials can, and will, work together on the investigation, she said. They'll be watching for safety issues that could affect other bridges. "The results can be very catastrophic," Hersman said. "We're very fortunate in this situation."

While the National Transportation and Safety Board finishes its inspection, state workers will begin removing debris from the river. Next, temporary spans, each with two lanes for northbound and southbound traffic, will be will be installed across the river. It's expected to be finished in about three weeks' time or about mid-June. "We're going to get this project done as fast as humanly possible," Gov. Jay Inslee said. "There are no more important issue right now to the economy of the state of Washington than getting this bridge up and running." Inspectors are working to find out whether the disintegration on Thursday of the heavily used span over the Skagit River, 60 miles north of Seattle and 40 miles south of the Canadian border, was a fluke or a sign of bigger problems. "These things take time. We want to make sure it's done right, done thoroughly," Washington Transportation Department spokesman Bart Treece said.

A trucker was hauling a load of drilling equipment Thursday evening when his load bumped against the steel framework over the bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and saw the span collapse into the water behind him. Motorists should not expect to drive on I-5 between Mount Vernon and Burlington for many weeks and possibly months, Treece said. Treece asked people to plan for an extra hour to make their way through detours around the collapsed bridge. There are three detour options northbound and two options southbound. About 71,000 vehicles use that stretch of highway every day. Late Saturday morning, traffic was moving freely through the detours. Inslee said it will cost $15 million to repair the bridge. The federal government has promised $1 million in emergency dollars and more money could come later, according to Washington's congressional delegation.

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