Collapses & Sinkings: A Long History of Bridge Failures in Washington State

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Washington State Skagit River Bridge collapse, it is interesting to reflect on what, if any, significant changes have been made to the state’s safety regulations to attempt to prevent similar accidents in the future.  But it is perhaps even more interesting to take a look at Washington State’s long history of catastrophic bridge failures.  There have been at least eight major bridge tragedies in Washington State over the course of the last 100 years. 

12-18-1915

Division Street Bridge

Spokane, WA

Collapsed a week after being resurfaced; poor steel, metal fatigue, and a previous impact by another bridge swept downstream during a flood in 1894 were cited as possible causal factors.  5-7 killed, 10 injured. 

1-3-1923

Allen Street Bridge

Kelso, WA

A suspension cable snapped sending the entire bridge into the Cowlitz and killing at least 35 people. 

11-7-1940

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Tacoma, WA

Aerodynamically poor design resulted inaeroelastic flutter.  Bridge completely destroyed, no person killed, but one dog killed and three vehicles lost.

4-22-1947

Hoko River Bridge

Clallam County, WA

An over loaded log truck drives over over the rural, wood-decked, steel pony-trussed bridge spanning the Hoko River.  The bridge collapses. 

2-13-1979

Hood Canal Floating Bridge

Olympic, WA

Blown pontoon hatches combined with extreme windstorm causes the problem that will sink the Western drawspan and western pontoons; other sections survived.

11-25-1990

Lacy Murrow Memorial Bridge

Seattle, WA

Heavy flooding of pontoons is cited as the cause.  2,790 feet of the bridge sank, dumping the contaminated water into the lake along with tons of bridge material

8-15-2007

Harp Road Bridge

Oakville, WA

The bridge collapsed under weight of a truck hauling an excavator.

5-23-2013

Skagit River Bridge

Mt Vernon, WA

Oversized semi-truck load carrying drilling equipment from Alberta clipped top steel girder causing the bridge collapse.

 


For more information on the Skagit River Bridge collapse investigation; legal claims, a statement from the victim/survivors and more visit Skagit River Bridge Collapse Anniversary

 

 

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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