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

Updated on: 2/26/2019

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 Collapse
Mt Vernon, WA
Oversized semi-truck load carrying drilling equipment from Alberta clipped top steel girder causing the bridge collapse.

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