Bridge collapse in Washington blamed on tractor-trailer


#1

A truck hauling a too-tall load hit an overhead girder of a bridge on the major thoroughfare between Seattle and Canada, sending a section of the span and two vehicles into the Skagit River below, though all three occupants suffered only minor injuries…

Bridge collapse in Washington state blamed on tractor-trailer - CBS News
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Very lucky that no one was killed or seriously hurt.
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#2

Somehow it’s Obama’s fault.


#3

You can cruise “right-wing” discussion sites if you like, OSB, and maybe you’ll find some one - some one not a Lib/Prog pretending to be a conservative as a provocation - affixing blame on Obama. I haven’t seen anything, and don’t expect to. OTOH, I suspect I could look in on DU, HuffPo, ThinkProgress, and MMfA and find several Libs/Progs blaming Bush and the Rs for neglecting “infrastructure” … as was done when the I-35 bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, MN in 2007 (a collapse due to a LBJ era design flaw, not that LBJ had a hand in the design).


#4

Back in the world of reality, what I’ve read indicated that the bridge in question had been identified as being a concern - older, needing and getting repairs, not up to modern standards for width and such. In the collapse, the immediate cause was that the truck was too wide, and it struck an overhead beam, precipitating the collapse. The trucking company had a permit to cross the bridge, so either they company gave wrong dimensional info to the State of WA, or the State of WA employee who gave the permit didn’t do some basic checks - is the bridge wide enough, is the vertical clearance adequate. The condition of the bridge (i.e. possible need for repairs) does not seem to have been a factor. At least from what is presently “known”.


#5

Wow! Didn’t even have to change my normal news trolling habits to find this one: Axelrod Blames Republicans for Washington Bridge Collapse. Not that I claim to be prescient. It was just very predictable.


#6

Ha, there has just been recent news in our local rag about a bridge that needs to be replaced. It was last replaced in 1950. The article said it was an old railroad trestle - I think that is incorrect, but that the previous one that collapsed was probably the old railroad trestle - the planks along the location where the rails probably were would seem to indicate that.

Anyway, this bridge collapsed under a tractor trailer hauling a piece of earth-moving equipment. The bridge was rated for 8 tons, and the tractor and load was 80 tons. In the recent article in our local paper, the driver said he thought he could make it if he drove real fast . . . Anyway, it was in 1948 when the bridge collapsed, and the state kept dragging their feet in replacing it (even after they had started on the work). It was a particular hardship for a lot of us in the area - our church was on the opposite side of the creek from where we lived, and most of us who attended that church were on the opposite side. Also, our high school students were hauled by local drivers to where our church was, to be picked by another district’s bus to be hauled into the town where we attended high school (I wasn’t attending HS yet then, I didn’t start until the fall of '50). For a short time in the summer, when the creek was very low, a way was found for cars to ford it.


#7

Well, since OSB opened the Can of Blame-Worms:

State report shows downed bridge had gouges, impact damage months ago
Published May 25, 2013
Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Officials in Washington state performed a special inspection six months ago on the Interstate 5 bridge that collapsed because there were indications it had been struck by a different vehicle.

An inspection report released Friday by the state Department of Transportation says inspectors brought in a bucket truck to examine the structure and identified tears, deformations and gouges on the northbound side of the bridge.

In that Nov. 29, 2012, impact, an overheight truck struck a metal overhead truss on the bridge, DOT spokeswoman Broch Bender said. An inspection crew determined the bridge to be safe, with only minor repairs required. She said those minor repairs were added to an existing list of bridge maintenance items to be completed at a future date.

The inspection report also details a variety of other problems with the bridge, including vegetation growing in panels, and rust. It also summarizes a variety of parts on the bridge that have been subjected to “high-load” hits.

IOW, WDOT knew 6 months ago that this bridge had sustained damage from multiple hits by over-sized trucks (that may have attempted to use the bridge, as with the truck that brought down the bridge, with the permission of WDOT) plus other damage. And slated repairs into the undetermined future. Want to assign blame? Start with WDOT! This was a (Hades) of a way to maintain a key link on the West Coast’s main north-south highway!

And in the spirit of Axelrod-ian Non-Partisanship guess the party of the Governor of WA, who oversees WDOT … and the party of every Governor of WA since 1985!

WDOT screwed up, big time! But can we keep stupid partisanship out of disasters like this (or the Moore, OK tornado)?!


#8

When driving a truck one also has to be careful about the listed height of a bridge. The government will come in and resurface or the bridge is a round structure and then the height is wrong. I have seen trucks get stuck. I know when I drove I had to be aware of this.

Rand McNally mades maps especially for routes that trucks can take.


#9

:yeahthat:


#10

I blame Jimmy Carter.


#11

I guess. So long as you define who this “we” is, as you just didn’t.

Changed my mind. No, we can’t because I want to know what happened to all those “shovel ready” jobs that Obama promised were going to be there, along with the promise of a sweeping, thorough inspection of our roads, and especially bridges, to be sure they were safe for all travelers.

Remember that one?


#12

2c, there would have to be a lot of links to make such a chain of reasoning/blame. If those links exist and the chain possible and plausible, well and good. I’m ready to hear it.

I’m just sick of stupidity like every hurricane, tornado, flood, or major blizzard being blamed on Global Warming (or Climate Change or whatever the current buzz-term is for this fauxney power-grab pretext) and ***(Gasp! Eeeeek!) Republican DENIERS!***. And of stupidity like the I-35 bridge collapse being blamed on Republican Governor Pawlenty, when the cause was eventually found to have been a design flaw from decades earlier.


#13

From Barrack Obama; 2011 State of the Union Address:

said he will intensify efforts to repair the nation’s roads, bridges and mass transit systems, calling the work necessary to create jobs and compete with nations that have made those investments.

Roads, Bridges, High-Speed Rail Are at Top Obama’s Transportation Agenda - Bloomberg

March 30, 2013:

President Barack Obama on Friday visited a tunnel project here to promote a new plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and its points of commerce — a series of measures that White House officials argue could appeal to business-minded Republicans.

Obama calls for work on U.S. roads and bridges

August 17, 2012:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is making nearly half a billion dollars in unspent highway funds available to states that promise to use the money to create jobs and improve transportation.

A White House official says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will announce Friday that more than $470 million will be made immediately available for projects such as repairing crumbling roads and bridges. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been publicly announced.

Read more: Obama offers states $470M for roads, bridges - Associated Press - POLITICO.com

That’s just for starters. There are plenty more at my fingertips, if you like.

Hey, I don’t cotton to placing blame where it doesn’t belong, either; no matter which side of the aisle. But the plain fact of the matter is that candidate Obama made those promises, and President Obama repeated those promises time and again.
It strikes me that maybe this incident wouldn’t have happened if he’d kept any ONE of those numerous promises.


#14

“Crumbling Infrastructure” was the meaningless rallying cry of tax-and-spend liberals in the 2000s that the “the homeless” was in the 1980s - all rallying and crying, no practical action. So I didn’t and don’t attach much significance to such speechifying bleatings. But if there were programs proposed and passed, with either the $$ for roads and bridges deleted or diverted, then the speechifying would be part of a start of a chain.


#15

Sounds like bad engineering if one girder was enough to collapse a bridge.


#16

Wouldn’t have to be bad engineering if it was just deterioration.


#17

Be an Obama apologist all you like. Don’t expect it to impress me any more than O’Reilly doing so, however.