I-5 Bridge Collapsed (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) A truck hauling a too-tall load of drilling equipment hit an overhead bridge girder on the major interstate between Seattle and Canada, sending a section of the span and two vehicles into the Skagit River. All three occupants suffered only minor injuries.
It happened about 7 p.m. Thursday on the north section of the four-lane Interstate 5 bridge near Mount Vernon, about 60 miles north of Seattle and 40 miles south of the Canada border, and disrupted travel in both directions.
The Washington State Patrol said the truck the driver works for Mullen Trucking in Alberta. The tractor-trailer, which was marked as an oversize load, was hauling a housing for drilling equipment Vancouver, Wash., when the top right front corner of the load struck several trusses on the north end of the bridge, the patrol said.
The driver, William Scott, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, near Edmonton, voluntarily gave a blood sample for an alcohol test and was not arrested.
Initially, it wasn t clear if the bridge just gave way on its own. But at an overnight news conference, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste blamed it on the too-tall load. The vertical clearance from the roadway to the beam is 14.6 feet.
The truck made it off the bridge and the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Two other vehicles went into the water about 25 feet below as the structure crumbled. Three people were rescued and were recovering Friday.
The trucking company said it received a state-issued permit to carry its oversized load across the bridge.
Ed Scherbinski, vice president of Mullen Trucking, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Washington state Department of Transportation had approved of the company s plan to drive a piece of drilling equipment along Interstate 5 to Vancouver, Wash.
He also said the company hired a local escort to help navigate the route.
Scherbinski said company officials are as bewildered as everyone else. He said he s not sure whether the Mullen Trucking vehicle was the cause of the collapse, but the driver could see the bridge falling in his rearview mirror.
Cynthia Scott, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, said she spoke with her husband moments after he saw the bridge fall into a river in his rear-view mirror. Cynthia Scott said there was a small ding in one of the front corners of the load.
Dave Chesson, a state DOT spokesman, said there were no signs leading up to the bridge warning about its clearance height.
Traffic could be affected for some time. The bridge is used by an average of 71,000 vehicles a day, so the roadblock will cause a major disruption in trade and tourism between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Washington Transportation Department has set up detours. The closest bridge nearby is mostly used for local traffic between Mount Vernon and Burlington. The department also is recommending detours using Highway 20 and Highway 9 that add tens of miles to a trip. Drivers are urged to avoid the area if possible, especially over the Memorial Day weekend.
Francisco Rodriguez, of Burlington, looked at the damage Thursday evening and realized the area has lost an important transportation link.
Well, very important, I mean everybody goes through here, everybody goes to Canada, Canadian side. Myself, I drove it every day, twice a day, he said.
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a big puff of dust.
I hit the brakes and we went off, Sligh told reporters from a hospital, adding he saw the water approaching you hold on as tight as you can.
Sligh and his wife were taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The other man was reported in stable condition at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, hospital CEO Greg Reed said.
The bridge was inspected twice last year and repairs were made, Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said.
It s an older bridge that needs a lot of work just like a good number of bridges around the state, she said.
The National Transportation Safety Board was sending an investigative team.
Jeremiah Thomas, a volunteer firefighter, said he was driving nearby when he glimpsed something out of the corner of his eye and turned to look.
The bridge just went down, it crashed through the water, he said. It was really surreal.
Crowds of people lined the river to watch the scene unfold.
It s not something you see every day, said Jimmy O Connor, the owner of two local pizza restaurants who was driving on another bridge parallel to the one that collapsed. People were starting to crawl out of their cars.
The bridge was not classified as structurally deficient, but a Federal Highway Administration database listed it as being functionally obsolete a category meaning that the design is outdated, such as having narrow shoulders and low clearance underneath.
The bridge, which was inspected last August and November, was built in in 1955 and had a sufficiency rating of 47 out of 100 at its November 2012 inspection, Transportation Department spokesman Noel Brady said Friday. The state average is 80, according to an Associated Press analysis.
Washington state was given a C in the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 infrastructure report card and a C- when it came to the state s bridges. The group said more than a quarter of Washington s 7,840 bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
The bridge was 1,112 feet long and 180 feet wide, with two lanes in each direction, Brady said. There are four spans, or sections, over the water supported by piers. The span on the north side is the one that collapsed. It s a steel truss bridge, meaning it has a boxy steel frame.
The mishap was reminiscent of the August 2007 collapse of an I-35W bridge in Minneapolis that killed 13 people and injured another 145 when it buckled and fell into the Mississippi River during rush-hour.
Sligh was thankful.
His wife was doing OK and he had lots of cuts, he said. You re kind of pinching yourself and realize you re lucky to be alive.
Baker reported from Olympia, Wash. Associated Press writers Chris Grygiel in Seattle and Terry Tang in Phoenix also contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A 25-year-old man was killed on Tuesday morning after his motorcycle collided with a truck.
The Warwick Police Department responded to the scene on Main Avenue just before 9 a.m. The operator of the motorcycle was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The diver of the truck, Sal Biscardi of Warwick, was not injured.
The initial investigation showed that the motorcycle was traveling on Main Avenue and the truck was leaving the Shell Gas station when the crash happened.
The was no passenger on the motorcycle, and police believe the operator of the motorcycle was not wearing a helmet.
Investigators interviewed the truck driver as well as some witnesses. Police say at this time they do not believe that speed or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
Police are not releasing the identity of the victim until the family has been notified.
Any person with information about the crash is asked to contact the Warwick Police Department Traffic Division at (401)468-4343.
DETROIT — The Michigan Department of Transportation has recommended lifting a ban on trucking hazardous materials across the Ambassador Bridge that connects the U.S. and Canada, and the idea has prompted concerns on both sides of the border.
The agency is taking public input on the idea until May 27 and any changes likely could take a year before taking effect, The Detroit News reported.
Explosives, radioactive material, flammable liquids and corrosive material currently are banned from the bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ont. They’re also banned from the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. A ferry service currently operates on the Detroit River for trucks carrying hazardous materials.
The state’s review of the issue came after a request from the Detroit International Bridge Co., which owns the Ambassador Bridge. A public meeting was held on the request on March 22, and MDOT said 10 Canadian officials were among those on hand.
“There’s not enough detail or consultation that has to be in a report of this magnitude,” said Mario Sonego, chief engineer for Windsor.
Plans are in the works to build a new Canadian-financed bridge across the river at Detroit, and that bridge is expected to be open to trucks carrying hazardous material. Gregg Ward, who has owned the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry since 1990, opposes ending the ban at the Ambassador Bridge.
“It goes counter to the reasoning about why we need a new bridge, which is redundancy,” he said. “We can’t rely on one bridge. Now, when something happens there are huge backups on the bridge.”
In a study released Dec. 27, MDOT supported the idea of transporting flammable gas/liquids, flammable solids and reactants, oxidants and peroxides, poisonous materials and infectious substances, corrosive materials and other dangerous products across the Ambassador Bridge.
“This issue has been out there for quite a while and it’s definitely not a done deal at this point,” said MDOT spokesman Jeff Cranson.
MDOT didn’t recommend lifting the ban on explosives and radioactive material on the bridge.
Hazardous materials are allowed across the Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron and Sarnia, Ont., and are restricted to designated lanes. Following MDOT’s review, there are no plans to consider allowing trucks hauling hazardous materials in the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
A semi-tractor trailer drives on the Interstate. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CBS) A suburban woman is using her family s tragedy to lobby Congress for tougher regulation of the trucking industry.
WBBM Newsradio s Regine Schlesinger reports Kate Brown, of Gurnee, said truck safety became her mission after her 35-year-old son Graham was severely injured in 2005, in a crash caused by a drugged trucker who fell asleep at the wheel after partying all night.
- Woman Lobbies For Trucking Safety
- WBBM Newsradio’s Regine…
My son was just driving down a country road when the truck driver hit him, Brown said.
She said her son was left permanently disabled.
He ll never be able to use his left arm again, and as a result of the various injuries he s had, he had 22 surgeries, she said.
Brown was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to push for stricter oversight of trucking, and fighting against efforts to increase the size and weight of trucks allowed on roads.
In a crash, the severity would be much worse; as well as damage to our infrastructures bridges, roads, she said.
Working with the Truck Safety Coalition, Brown is telling her son s story to Congress.
Ed Dahlberg of Clifton turned himself in to Fairfax County Police at around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, and was served with a misdemeanor assault charge, according to Fairfax County Police.
Dahlberg is charged with assaulting a taxi driver and fleeing the scene on foot in the early morning of Friday, April 26.
The 39-year-old taxi driver, Mohamed Salim, is Muslim, and claims that Dahlberg compared him to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and repeatedly punched him, resulting in a fractured jaw, a head injury and hearing loss.
Salim, a US Army veteran, picked up Dahlberg at the Country Club of Fairfax2 on the early morning of Friday, April 26. The cab driver took 11 minutes of video of Dahlberg drunkenly arguing over Muslim extremism3 and provided the video to the Washington Post.
If you re a expletive Muslim flying jets into the World Trade Center, then expletive you, I will slice your expletive throat right now, Dahlberg said.
Dahlberg then knocked the phone away as Salim tried to call the police. Dahlberg then fled the scene on foot.
That may be the end of the video, but not the story.
“After the recording Dahlberg got out of the car, and (Salim) said, ‘I’m going to call 911,’ and he (Dahlberg) gets back into the car, called the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings his cousins and punched him a couple more times before running into the woods,” said Salim’s attorney Gadeir Abbas of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Salim refused treatment at the scene, and drove himself to INOVA Fair Oaks Emergency Department.
The hospital report shows that Salim had a fractured jaw and a head injury. No specifics were available on the extent of the head injury. Salim, who also complained of pain in his right ear, was then prescribed with pain killers, which warn that he not drive or operate heavy machinery.
Abbas is working for the Commonwealth’s Attorney to get Dahlberg’s potential sentencing over the alleged assault increased by classifying it as a hate crime.
“At this point what Mohamed is focused on is seeking justice in this case through the criminal justice process, and here a local prosecutor can send a message that active acts of violence against muslims are out of place in Virginia,” said Abbas, adding that Salim is weighing options on whether to file a civil suit against Dahlberg.
Aiming to quell community concern, the company behind a controversial 33-acre trucking and distribution center on the Los Alamitos-Cypress border plans to cut the number truck bays at the planned site, a spokesman said.
Industrial developer Prologis1 will to drop some of the 129 truck bays originally proposed for the planned facility at Katella Avenue and Enterprise Drive in Cypress, according to Atle Erlingsson, vice president of Prologis corporate communications.
Our ultimate goals here is to develop a property that s welcomed, said Erlingsson, who announced the company’s new proposal Monday. Erlingsson said it was in response to community feedback.
We re looking to make a considerable decrease in the number of truck bays, he said.
Erlingsson said it would be several weeks before he would know the exact number of truck bays would decrease.
The project has been a contentious issue for a number of residents in Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Cypress, who say the plan would intensify traffic, damage streets and increase pollution posing health risks, especially for children.
Erlingsson said that the facility would be a boon to the local business community and would be LEED certified2. He added there was much misinformation about the project, including its economic, social and environmental impacts and even the projects description: it s a distribution center, he said, and not a truck depot.
We should point back to our track record, Erlingsson said. (We build) all high-quality, class-A facilities. We only build the best of the best.
Recently the Los Alamitos City Council voted 5-0 to oppose the development.3 Officials, also told the city manager and the city attorney to begin taking actions to protect the city” from the proposed development.
Cypress officials did not respond to calls for comment Monday afternoon.
Los Alamitos Councilman Richard Murphy said didn t he know if the proposed change in the site plan would change his opposition to the project.
It would have to be a dramatic decrease, Murphy said. (And) I m not sure that that (Prologis statement about truck bays) gives us any guarantee of reduction in the amount of trucks going in.
Murphy said he wants more information, which won t be forthcoming until Cypress releases the results of its report on the possible effects of the project on the surrounding community.
We re going to wait and see until the environmental impact report comes out, Murphy said. I imagine when that comes out, there s going to be feathers flying everywhere.
Lois Waddle, a resident of Los Alamitos Carrier Row just across the street from the planned facility, is one of the activists protesting the project.
To the 40-year Los Alamitos local said even one truck bay is too many.
No trucks. No commercial trucking. No bays, said Waddle, a retired realtor and teacher.
Waddle, who hopes Cypress will turn the area into a park with recreation or community centers, said she doesn t want to see the traffic, pollution and noise the project would generate.
I just can t see that they would intentionally destroy this land when it could be something so beautiful, Waddle said.
She said that locals can check out more about protests against the project at OC4us.com
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS: What do you think of the project?
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- ^ Prologis (www.prologis.com)
- ^ LEED certified (www.usgbc.org)
- ^ Council voted 5-0 to oppose the development. (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ The Rossmoor Homeowner s Association has opposed the plan (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ recent scoping meeting (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ Cypress City Council meeting. (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ other top stories here (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
- ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
- ^ daily email (losalamitos.patch.com)
Traffic, road damage and air pollution top the list of troubles that Los Alamitos officials worry a proposed 33-acre Cypress truck complex could bring to the city
Recently the Los Alamitos City Council voted 5-0 to oppose the development1. The 33-acre warehousing and light manufacturing site that industrial developer Prologis2 proposed for the corner of Enterprise and Katella will have significant environmental and human health impacts on the surrounding community, according to a letter from Los Alamitos to the Cypress.
And city officials want Cypress to address those issues in a draft report Cypress is preparing on project’s potential effects.
To read the letter in full, click the pdf under the picture on the right.
According to the letter, officials are concerned that the 134 truck bays could generate up to 1,131 trips in the morning hours and 1,080 in peak hours which would shorten the pavement life of local streets and increase traffic times.
City staffers were also concerned about the project s effect on air quality, especially because the site would be so close to Laurel Park (.62 miles away), the Los Alamitos Medical Center (.75 miles away) and the Alamitos West Care Center (.62 miles away). The last day to submit comments on the upcoming draft report is Wednesday.
At a recent meeting aimed at collecting comment on the project3 Garden Grove, Los Alamitos and Cypress residents said the project would increase traffic, damage streets and increase health risks, especially for children.
Because of the impact on local residents and because of the residents objections, Los Alamitos Mayor Warren Kusumoto said there s no amount of money the developer could pay the city to make him OK with the project.
We don t want their money, Kusumoto said.
The Los Al letter lists other concerns. The project would force traffic onto Midway and Enterprise and interfere with the commute for students and parents who use Katella to get to school, according to the letter.
Of the about 21 people who spoke on the issue at a Monday Cypress City Council meeting, most were against it, said Doug Hawkins, Cypress planning manager. He said most were also concerned with three main issues: noise, traffic and pollution.
Residents from Los Al and Cypress packed the council chamber occasionally yelling during the meeting, said those who attended the meeting. Cypress Mayor Prakash Narain, M.D., could not be reached for comment.
According to Hawkins, Assemblyman Travis Allen s district director Emanuel Patrascu spoke in support of the project at the meeting. However, Patrascu later clarified that the assemblyman did not approve or support the project but supported the goal of economic development.
He s supporting the process involved, Patrascu said. From what I ve seen of it, it s not what I would consider a truck stop.
Patrascu added that “a truck stop is usually a place where trucks stop, heavy amount of trucks coming through and stopping over night. Patrascu said he doesn t believe this project is a truck stop.
The Assemblyman wants to see what the final project looks like before deciding whether he’s in favor or against, Patrascu said.
The last day to submit comments by email, phone, fax or hand delivery before city staff begin drafting the EIR is April 10.
Emails can be sent firstname.lastname@example.org, the phone number is 714 229-6720 and the fax number is 714-229-0154. For mail, address letters to the City of Cypress, Community Development Department, 5175 Orange Avenue Cypress, California, Attention Mr. Douglas Hawkins AICP, Planning Manager.
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- ^ Recently the Los Alamitos City Council voted 5-0 to oppose the development (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ Prologis (www.prologis.com)
- ^ At a recent meeting aimed at collecting comment on the project (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ other top stories here (losalamitos.patch.com)
- ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
- ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
- ^ daily email (losalamitos.patch.com)
Cranberry s fleet of police vehicles is getting a new look.
The truck will cost $28,780, which Cranberry Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said is about the same cost as a new sports utility vehicle. The department typically replaces its vehicles once they reach more than 100,000 miles, Mascellino said.
As for why the department chose to go with a truck instead of another SUV, the answer is simple more room.
Mascellino said the bed in the pickup truck would give officers more ability to haul bikes, dogs cages, vehicle parts and other items
In the past, officers have used their personal vehicle, or gotten the township s public works department to assist them, when they were unable to load items into their police vehicles. Police cruisers are filled almost to capacity with computers, a prisoner partition and other equipment, according to Public Safety Director Jeff Schueler.
The one thing we have lacked is the ability to haul certain items, Mascellino said. Even in an SUV, you don t have room to haul something like a bike,
Mascellino said the truck also has more room in the interior compared to an SUV.
Cranberry would be one of the first departments in the area to utilize the pickup truck as a police vehicle.
Franklin Township in Beaver County also has a Ford F-150 for its police department and Mascellino said Cranberry has received positive feedback on it from Franklin officers.
Several other employees of the township also have them as personal vehicles, he said.
The Ford-150 will be ordered by the end of the month. Once the truck is outfitted for the department, it could be on the road by early fall, Mascellino said.
The truck may also be reused in Cranberry when the police department readies to replace it in the future. Mascellino said the F-150 could be transferred to the township s parks and recreation or public works for use by those departments.
We do have a lot of second life for our vehicles, Mascellino said. They ve been well maintained throughout the first 100,000 miles we use them.
Cranberry supervisors also authorized the police department to buy two Dodge Charges to replace two of the department s older Ford Crown Victorias. The cost for the two Chargers is $55,070.
Mascellino noted Ford stopped making Crown Victorias last year. After officers test-drove both the Chevy Caprice and the Charger as possible replacements, the department decided to go with the Charger again because of space.
It really is a tight fit, Mascellino said of the Caprice. The Chargers have a little bit more room.
Thoughts on the police department getting a Ford F-150 and Chargers? Share them in the comment section below.