Another bridge in the US, this time on the route between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, has collapsed. The bridge, between north of Mount Vernon and south or Burlington, collapsed just after 7 p.m. on Thursday, the Washington State Patrol reported. Several vehicles were plunged into the Skagit River following the collapse. Three were taken to hospital, but there were no fatalities.
The four-lane Interstate 5 bridge collapsed about halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, according to a state trooper. Washington Transportation Department records indicate that the Skagit River Bridge – over half a century old – was deemed “structurally deficient” as of Sept. 1, 2011. There are reportedly 156 such classified state-owned bridges.
It is reported that a Canadian truck overloaded with drilling equipment collided several of the bridge’s overhead trusses when making a crossing. State officials hope a temporary structure can be put in place before funds for the $15m replacement can be raised. The collapse cuts of Skagit county interstate traffic, posing a big threat to the region’s farming economy.
Of the existing bridges in the US, 68,842, or 11.5% of total highway bridges are classified as “structurally deficient,” requiring significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement.
A full report will follow soon.