Watch Out for Big Infrastructure Push Following Bridge Collapse

27 May

from Root Force

I-5Bridgecollapse

Following the collapse of an I-5 highway bridge in Washington state (in which fortunately no one was killed), watch out for infrastructure apologists from liberals to energy companies to push for a massive increase in infrastructure spending.

Bloomberg’s coverage raises the issue in the fourth paragraph:

An interstate highway bridge in Washington state collapsed [Thursday], sending vehicles into the rushing waters of the Skagit River north of Seattle. Three people were rescued and none died, authorities said.

The bridge carried both north- and south-bound lanes of Interstate 5, which runs the length of the U.S. West Coast from Mexico to Canada. Investigators said a truck carrying an oversized load may have struck the span before it fell. [Note: it’s been confirmed that a megaload truck did indeed cause the collapse -Root Force]

“A rough day,” Dan Sligh said in an interview with Seattle’s KOMO-TV after he escaped from his submerged pickup. “I’m glad to be here breathing.”

The bridge’s collapse put a new focus on the nation’s failing infrastructure, an issue that President Barack Obama has highlighted in his second-term agenda. It came almost six years after a highway span fell in Minnesota at rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145. Last week, Obama ordered a 50 percent cut in the time it takes executive-branch agencies to start major road and bridge projects.

Now, as little as we at Root Force like the globalized trade that depends so heavily on highways like I-5, we certainly don’t want people plunging off bridges to their deaths. A simple solution, from our point of view, would be to have people cross the Skagit River via smaller boats or bridges that are unsuitable for the “commerce” that’s killing our planet.

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