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2013-05-24 15:11:12.356042+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

So, this I-5 bridge collapse: If we can't afford to maintain our sprawl, tell me again how building more will benefit us economically?

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-24 16:02:45.842965+00 by: Jack William Bell

Turns out the collapse was caused by an oversized load hitting the supports. The bridge was considered structurally sound, but out of date. (A modern bridge would allow heavier loads. The Skagit bridge was limited to 40k pounds per axle, six axles maximum.)

Of course your point stands, but this prolly isn't the hook to hang it on.

NOTE: I live rather far east of the bridge in Skagit county, up in the Cascade mountains. The collapse doesn't affect my drive to either Seattle -or- Bellingham. Drive-time wise I am equidistant to both.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-05-24 16:27:32.898419+00 by: Dan Lyke

As I said on Facebook:

I believe that modern bridge and tunnel design usually has a sacrificial but heavily reinforced I-beam structure to enforce vehicle size limits (I'm particularly thinking of the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel which has a big-ass I-beam painted bright yellow, labelled "12'6" and we mean it!"). If an overhead truss bridge lacks this feature, that's a maintenance failure.

So, yeah, the proximate cause was an oversized vehicle. The real cause was that an overhead truss bridge lacked the basic safety features that such a bridge should have.