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

Updated on: 6/21/2018

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. 


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. 


Allen Street Bridge

Kelso, WA

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


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.


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. 


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.


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


Harp Road Bridge

Oakville, WA

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


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



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