Interstate 5 bridge collapses in Washington State

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by manhn, May 24, 2013.

  1. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/...nterstate-5-bridge-collapses-in-NW-Washington

    Yikes! I hope everyone is okay. Skagit Valley is about 1 hour north of Seattle, 1 hour south of Canada. About 30 minutes north of Everett, which hosted a Skate America.

    I drove over that bridge a few days ago driving back home to Canada from Portland. Anyone planning a road trip to Vancouver/Seattle over the next few months--expect delays. I'll be in Seattle for sure end of June, as I am flying out of Seatac to Mexico.
     
  2. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Have been following the updates on Twitter. According to news sources all people in the vehicles that fell from the bridge have been accounted for (last I heard it was 3 people), and there are no known fatalities. It is believed at this time that the bridge collapse was set in motion when it was hit by a large, overloaded truck. In a 2010 inspection this bridge was deemed sub-standard.

    Pix:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BLAQDcXCIAADTdi.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BLATfnUCIAAmV70.png

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  3. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    It was deemed "functionally obsolete" in 2010, not substandard.

    I'm supposed to go to Vancouver tomorrow :drama: :wuzrobbed

    I'm going to go to bed early and see if they've figured out a decent workaround for buses tomorrow morning :slinkaway
     
  4. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, genevieve! I hope you can still make your trip!

    I just heard that there may still be a 4th person still in the water. :(
     
  5. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the correction.

    EDIT: Source of my previous incorrect statement...

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  6. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I hope to make it too....and hope that if there is a 4th person they can be reached :( an hourish ago I read that rescue efforts were being halted, and that anyone still in the water "would not be rescued", which seemed an odd thing to say. I know there are a ton of people out at the bridge right now though, hopefully something can be done.
     
  7. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Twitter:

     
  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I'm very glad the bus I was on today crossed it about five hours before it collapsed.

    There's never a good time for this to happen, but this is the begiknning of the summer cruise to Alaska season, and the bus traffic over the border increases ten-fold due to tour vans shuttling people between the take-off and end points in Vancouver and Seattle. The re-routes along two-lane backroads are going to be bottleneck country.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  9. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    trip cancelled :( on the news they are advising anyone who doesn't have to travel this route to stay away - there are two other bridges nearby, but they're not designed to handle anywhere near the traffic that I-5 gets.

    One bright spot - I procrastinated so long to get my tickets that the BoltBus routes were all sold out, and I had to buy Amtrak (bus) tickets. Amtrak has a very simple refund policy and procedure and I got a full refund right away. Pretty sure the BoltBus tickets are non-refundable, and even if they would make an exception in this case, it's not clear on their site how to do it. The woman I spoke to at Amtrak had no idea that anything had happened, though. She obviously wasn't located out here, but I was expecting there would have been some company-wide alert about certain routes :lol: There are more Amtrak bus routes per day than trains out here, so this could significantly impact their PNW business.
     
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  10. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    I live about 20 mins south of the bridge and have driven over the bridge so many times. So scary!
     
  11. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I'm sorry your trip has been canceled, genevieve. You're so right about the impact of the Amtrak bus. Unlike most bus lines, which when they're full, they're full, Cantrail, the Amtrak subcontractor, will add buses if there is demand, which happens routinely on morning cruise day slots. In addition they have their discount ticketholders who buy books of 10 one-way tickets from them.

    ks777, I'm glad you weren't there when it happened. Being that close, you don't even think about getting on the highway.
     
  12. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    I use to work in Anacortes and had to cross the bridge every day.
     
  13. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Good to know all of you who have checked in are safe and sound. Hope no other Seattle/Van/PNW FSUers were directly affected.
     
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  14. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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  15. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    When I saw the images last night on TV, I instantly recognized it as a bridge I had crossed driving to SeaTac for my return flight after 2001 Worlds. Glad that no lives were lost, but it definitely will be a major hassle for people driving to/from Vancouver from Seattle and other parts of the US northwest.
     
  16. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I've been on the bridge several times, during visits to my family members who are in the Seattle area.
    What an awful accident,
    I hope that the inevitable inconvenience to those who use it often can be minimized.
     
  17. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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  18. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Canadian driver. Figures.
     
  19. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Sasquatch festival?! :wideeyes:
     
  20. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Me too! My first thought when I heard the news was "well, there was a lot of beer and books in my trunk ..."

    This incident could have been sooooo much worse, considering how busy that stretch of highway sometimes gets. It's the everday things that, when they go wrong, really throw us.
     
  21. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Buzz and (deleted member) like this.
  22. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

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    Lucky that only 3 cars went into the drink and that everyone is safe.

    Strange that a truck hitting a beam was enough to make the bridge go down...especially as it wasn't a collision, but a kind of swipe. There had to have been something structurally wrong with it for a swipe to bring something that size down...like a precise hit ie. hitting the achilles heel. They'll figure it out and meanwhile at least there was minimal damage to people/cars.
     
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I've broken 20mL beakers by only dropping them a few inches, because they hit the counter at the exact spot where it's apparently weakest...Small beakers are supposed to be hard to break. :p

    It would be helpful if a bridge's structurally weak spot was NOT in a place where a vehicle could hit it....

    SO glad everyone got out alive of that! So frightening!

    And yeah, it's definitely a situation where people don't think it needs attention until something like this happens...:shuffle:
     
  24. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I have no evidence to support this, but based on the fact that the bridge was shorter than standard, I would bet it was hit a number of times over the years. This was just the hit that took it down.
     
  25. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    In NY/NJ, trucks with oversized loads had to be accompanied by an escort vehicle. On the very-narrow Goethals Bridge, the Port Authority has a waiting area on each side. The PA escort stops traffic to allow the truck to use both lanes. (Whenever possible, it's done during light-traffic times and they try to have more than one truck cross at the same time.)

    I've seen escorted oversize loads in other states as well, especially near bridges and highways with overpasses.
     
  26. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I was :eek: when I saw this on the news. Like the other Vancouver/Seattle area FSUers I too have driven over this bridge many times....scary to think that it was "functionally obsolete". Very fortunate that no one was killed when it collapsed.

    According to today's Globe and Mail, the mayor of Mount Vernon is trying to find a temporary bridge (Bailey bridge) somewhere in North America that the city can borrow until a new bridge can be built.
     
  27. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    A crosscut.com article earlier today said that they're checking to see if the foundations will support a Bailey ridge, a temporary bridge construction used during WW II. If one can be found and the foundation hasn't been too damaged, the bridge could be up as early as a few weeks, as opposed to months to rebuild the bridge.

    About 30 minutes ago on the train to Vancouver, which uses a separate bridge, while I was waiting for a barely edible pizza to emerge from the dining car microwave, the conductor came on over the loudspeaker and said,

    "This, folks, is the moment you've all beeen waiting for: if you look out the left side of the train as we cross the Skagit River, you will see part of the I-5 bridge in the water."

    Sure enough, there it was.

    ETA: here's the link to the crosscut.com article:
    http://crosscut.com/2013/05/25/tran...il&utm_term=0_efe7a35aed-d726076ccb-278618759
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  28. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Twitter:

     
  29. Guinevere

    Guinevere New Member

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    We were just talking about this at home, saying that Bellingham must be celebrating just a little bit because the river prevents anyone from going further south to the outlets in Mount Vernon or Seattle. So with the bridge collapse all cross border Canadians now have to stay and spend their money in their town!! I noticed in the last few years that most cross border shoppers bypass Bellingham to the other shops especially the Premium Outlets near Seattle.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  30. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    There's a wonderful set of restaurants in Fairhaven, which makes Bellingham a great destination on the way down and/or back.