Bridge collapse raises new safety concerns
BOSTON (WHDH)--Officials raise new safety concerns about bridges all across the country following the collapse of the Skagit Bridge in Washington.
New video shows the moment an oversize truck struck the Skagit River Bridge in Washington, collapsing it and sending two vehicles on a 25-foot plunge.
"...bridge over I-5 just collapsed, we have vehicles in the water," said Skagit county police and fire dispatch.
All three people inside those cars survived, including 20 year-old Bryce Kenning.
"It was just a straight nose dive into the water," Kenning said.
Federal and state investigators say a truck with an oversize load is to blame.
"A very heavy vehicle crashed into not just one, but probably multiple girders on the bridge, and it failed," said Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington.
The truck driver is being questioned by investigators. The wife says her husband is ok.
"He is shaken up. He was really scared for the people that had fallen off the bridge and he was really happy to hear that they were fine, to see that they were fine and that was the real blessing,” said wife, Cynthia Scott.
The Skagit River Bridge, about 11-hundred feet long, was built in 1955. Inspected just last November, it was listed as "functionally obsolete" by the federal highway administration, which means the design is outdated but structurally sound.
"It was generally a healthy bridge, that doesn't mean that there are things that couldn't have been done to improve the bridge,” said Debbie Hersman, NTSB Chairman.
Experts say bridges across the country are vulnerable. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, one in nine of the nation's bridges are rated as structurally deficient.
"There are more structurally deficient bridges in our big cities than there are McDonalds franchises nationwide,” said civil engineer David Goldberg, Transportation of America.
As the Memorial Day Weekend travel rush gets underway, officials are scrambling to redirect traffic across the river as swiftly as possible. The driver of the tractor trailer that hit the bridge has tested negative for drugs and alcohol and has not been arrested.