Weekly news roundup: Skagit bridge collapse special edition

News for the week of May 18th to 24th.

The biggest news is, of course, the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River. Mercifully, no one was killed. The bridge is one of 1,693 “functionally obsolete” bridges in the state.

Alternate routes are available on Google maps and WSDOT.

130524_i5_bridge_collapse_660

The bridge will need to be replaced, not rebuilt, at an estimated cost of $15 million.

The legislature in still in special session, and some lawmakers think the collapse could change the funding priorities for transportation funding.

The State’s bridges received a C- rating in a report issued this week by the American Society of Civil Engineers. According to the ASCE report, there is an estimated $15.1 billion funding backlog for these “functionally obsolete” bridges.

On Monday, Governor Inslee spoke at a rally in Olympia organized by labor groups supporting the transportation revenue package, “saying it’s ‘crunch time’ to pay for road projects and maintain existing roads and bridges.” Indeed.

Later that same day, Governor Inslee signed the $8.7 billion transportation budget.

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And finally, in a presentation to the Transportation Commission, WSF is proposing changes to its tariff structure, including:

  • Beginning to incorporate fare incentives to travel as a passenger, either in a vehicle or as a walk-on.
  • Restoring youth fare discount to the same level as seniors/disabled passengers to benefit families using WSF.
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