The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

May 27, 2013

Temporary bridges planned for fallen I-5 in Washington

SEATTLE — Federal investigators used 3D laser scans Sunday to study what remained of a collapsed Washington state bridge as Gov. Jay Inslee announced temporary spans will be installed across the Skagit River within weeks — if plans go well.

Sunday’s announcement comes a day after the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board called last week’s Interstate 5 bridge collapse a wake-up call to the state of safety of the nation’s infrastructure and the Saturday destruction of a highway overpass in Missouri that was struck by a cargo train.

The Washington state collapse, caused by a semi-truck carrying an oversize load striking the bridge, fractured one of the major trade and travel corridors on the West Coast. The interstate connects Washington state with Canada, which is about an hour north of Mount Vernon, where the bridge buckled.

After the collapse, semi-trucks, travel buses and cars clogged local bridges as traffic was diverted through the small cities around the bridge. But overall, traffic was flowing as well as expected during the holiday weekend.

“We’re going to get this project done as fast as humanly possible,” Inslee, a Democrat, said Sunday. “There are no more important issue right now to the economy of the state of Washington than getting this bridge up and running.”

Inslee said he hopes the temporary spans, each with two lanes for northbound and southbound traffic, will be finished in about three weeks’ time or about mid-June. The spans will be pre-built and trucked to Mount Vernon.

The state plan also calls for a permanent span to be built and competed by autumn, officials said.

Officials say there are remaining inspections to the spans left standing to make sure they are safe to use.

The federal government is expected to cover 100 percent of the costs of the temporary bridge and 90 percent the replacement, said state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.

The temporary span would be able to carry regular-sized cargos as well as cars. The speed limit would be lower than the 60 miles per hour allowed previously.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Questions linger year after bombs

    BOSTON — A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards from where an 8-year-old boy was killed when it exploded....

    April 15, 2014

  • Feds abruptly end roundup

    Federal land managers abruptly ended the roundup of cattle on public land in southern Nevada owned by a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority, citing a “serious concern” for the safety of employees and the public....

    April 13, 2014

  • Calif. crash probe includes limiting bus fires

    ORLAND, Calif. — A new twist was added to the investigation of a crash involving a tour bus and FedEx tractor-trailer that killed 10 people when a couple said the big rig already was on fire when it careened across a median and sideswiped ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Disappointment, forgiveness mix in La.

    MONROE, La. — To Louisiana voters accustomed to tawdry scandals involving elected officials, disappointment with an eye toward forgiveness is the prevailing sentiment about their new congressman, caught on video embracing an aide married ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Uniformed men occupy Donetsk police HQ

    DONETSK, Ukraine — Men in the uniforms of Ukraine’s now-defunct riot police on Saturday occupied police headquarters in Donetsk, the eastern city that is one of the flashpoints of a wave of pro-Russia protests, hours after armed men seized ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Sebelius resigns after fiasco

    WASHINGTON — Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as the White House seeks to move past the election-year political damage inflicted by the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature health ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Colbert to replace Letterman

    NEW YORK — CBS moved swiftly Thursday to replace the retiring David Letterman with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, who will take over the “Late Show” next year and do battle with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel for late-night television ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Republicans block bill curbing gender pay gap

    WASHINGTON — Republicans blocked a Senate bill Wednesday aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women, an election-year ritual that Democrats hope will help spur women to back them in this fall’s congressional elections....

    April 10, 2014

  • Sailing family back in U.S.

    SAN DIEGO — Six days after a family of four found themselves helpless and adrift in a sailboat far into the Pacific with a vomiting, feverish 1-year-old, a Navy warship delivered them safely Wednesday to San Diego, where they began their ...

    April 10, 2014

  • IMF: Economy is strengthening

    WASHINGTON — The global economy is strengthening but faces threats from super-low inflation and outflows of capital from emerging economies, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday. The lending organization expects the global ...

    April 9, 2014