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WSDOT Says Even A New Bridge Like I-5 Skagit Could Collapse When Hit

KUOW | May 24, 2013 12:10 p.m. | Seattle

Investigators are working to determine how the collapse of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge happened Thursday night.

‚Ä®Travis Phelps of the Washington Department of Transportation says it’s not an issue of the bridge being too old or structurally unsound.

He says it has to do with the fact it was hit by an oversize load.

“This could happen to even a new bridge. This isn’t a design issue, per se. If you have a brand new bridge, you strike it at freeway speeds with a multi-ton object, you’re gonna have catastrophic failure, just like we saw on I-5 in Skagit County.”

The trucking company involved in the collapse says it received a state-issued permit to carry the oversized load across the bridge.

An official with Mullen Trucking of Alberta, Canada says they’re not sure the truck was the cause.

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