Dozens of state bridges have multiple red flags

SEATTLE — Dozens of bridges in Washington state are both in disrepair and at risk of collapse if hit hard enough in the wrong place.

An Associated Press analysis identified about 50 bridges that are “structurally deficient” and “fracture critical.” A bridge is “structurally deficient” when it is in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component is deemed in poor or worse. A bridge is deemed “fracture critical” when it doesn’t have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails.

The Skagit River bridge that collapsed in May was a fracture critical bridge, but it was actually not in disrepair like some of its peers.

While some of the bridges identified by the AP analysis are small spans in low-travel areas, others are prominent. They include an I-5 bridge that carries northbound drivers over the east fork of the Lewis River, another I-5 span over the Stillaguamish River, and a Capitol Blvd. bridge in Olympia that carries many government workers over Interstate 5 and into the city.

The span over the east fork of the Lewis River was built in 1936, and officials hope to replace it in the coming 10 to 15 years. Because of age, corrosion and metal fatigue caused by vibration, the state has implemented weight restrictions on the bridge. Washington state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Heidi Sause said the bridge wasn’t built for the kind of wear — bigger loads and more traffic — that is now common.

“This is a bridge that we pay close attention to and we monitor very carefully,” Sause said.

Associated Press

More in Local News

Majority of Marysville City Council seats are contested

The most closely watched race is between Mark James and Donna Wright.

500 tires go up in flames at a store south of Everett

There were no injuries. And it was nowhere near as bad as that months-long tire fire in 1984.

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

A pot deal between teens leaves them injured, facing charges

Police found out about the incident when both ended up at the same hospital that night.

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Lake Stevens man injured by 50-foot fall near Leavenworth

The rescuers had to tie in to keep from falling due to the steep rugged terrain.

Lynnwood mayor challenged by councilman in general election

Three City Council members also are facing challengers on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Missing 6-year-old’s body found in trash bin near Lynnwood

Dayvid Pakko was mildly autistic. A suspect in his death is a relative, the sheriff’s office said.

Most Read