Wash. I-5 bridge collapse caused by oversize load

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  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    May 25, 2013 12:53 a.m.

    It's frightening to believe that one tractor trailer can completely destroy a major Interstate Bridge. Such exposure to the vulnerability of America's crucial infrastructure only makes America open to terrible terrorist exploitation leaving millions of people and the economy at risk an new insidious way. Unfortunately it seems military power may not be the best way to address terrorism...perhaps looking at the deeper root causes of terrorism, the religious intolerance, the income inequality, and cultural and racial prejudice may be places to start looking for solutions.

  • azgal Buckeye, AZ
    May 24, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    A beam (a non-load bearing one!) slightly lower than the bridge's supporting beams at both sides that a too-tall vehicle would hit first (and hopefully go no further) should be sufficient, wouldn't it? Otherwise, it would be cost prohibitive and we know the pol's in DC won't want to give up our hard earned (but easily taken) tax monies for this.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    "State Patrol Chief John Batiste blamed it on a tractor-trailer carrying a tall load that hit an upper part of the span."


    When I saw the news pictures of the collapsed bridge it was clear that it was designed as a truss structure which means that it depended on the mutual support of each of the truss members. And, as a chain in only as strong as its weakest link, under certain conditions, an entire truss structure can fail when only one or a few of its members fail.

    Trusses are designed to primarily support tensional/compressional loads. Having the truck's load hit one or more truss members on the side introduced a lateral/torsional load that was, apparently, sufficient to break/bend it enough to compromise the structural integrity of the entire truss structure.

    I doubt it was a problem of the bridge's design or construction per se. But, it's clear that there weren't sufficient precautionary measures to prevent this from happening. Maybe they'll install a load size monitoring system, whether physical, electronic or some combination, to prevent this in the future.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Well, we are heading to Vancouver, BC in three weeks. We are planning to stay at Bremerton, WA (accross the bay from Seattle) and wondering what is the altinate route? Anyone know?

  • Way of the Warrior ARLINGTON, WA
    May 24, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Up until recently, I used to cross this bridge on I-5 fairly often. It's a busy stretch of freeway that connects two towns separated by the river. It really is a miracle that no one was killed.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    Having lived in countries where there is a lack of laws and enforcement, freeways collapse from companies skimping on concrete and rebar, licenses aren't checked and drivers qualifications are necessary, this is sort of sad. We live in a country that has lost people in public and private areas without integrity. This is endemic in a lot of the world but is appearing on the shores of our country. There are more cases now of vehicles hitting overpasses or bridges that connect our non-Internet highways, literally. Drivers are to know their load height and weight. They sometimes even take backroads to get around the normal weigh and check paperwork stations. When the top people in government think they can get around the laws they are supposed to enforce, then the citizenry believe they can do the same. They won't get caught. This driver may have done almost everything and no one will notice he didn't complete all his checklist items before going down the highway. This is a well traveled route, especially on Memorial Day and now the summer tourists will be impacted.

    Is medical marijuana okay for CDL drivers while on and off duty?