The collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River is a reminder that thousands of bridges in the US are in serious need of repair or replacement. President Obama proposed a "Fix it First" program, but the budget 'sequester' may have squelched that.
The bridge that collapsed into the Skagit River north of Seattle will get a short-term patch within weeks, officials say, keeping this busy portion of the I-5 interstate open while the crunched original is replaced.
"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," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement Sunday. That permanent replacement should be ready by early autumn.
That’s good news for commuters and travelers along this busy highway through the Pacific Northwest into Canada now poking their way along other river crossings. But it’s also a reminder that many older bridges around the country are at risk, in serious need of repair or replacement.
“Thousands of bridges around the US may be one freak accident or mistake away from collapse, even if the spans are deemed structurally sound,” reports The Associated Press.