Sunday, November 23, 2014

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in three counties around a collapsed Interstate 5 bridge.

Inslee said in his proclamation Friday that the bridge collapse has caused extensive disruption, impacting the citizens and economy in Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties .

The governor is instructing the emergency management division of the Washington State Military Department to coordinate all assistance to the affected areas.

Inslee says state agencies should do everything reasonably possible to assist the local areas in responding and recovering from the event.

Gov. Jay Inslee says it will cost $15 million to repair the Skagit River bridge. The federal government has already promised the state $1 million in emergency dollars to fix the Interstate 5 bridge.

 

Inslee says he talked to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday morning. LaHood is promising his full support to get Washington's main north-south roadway repaired as quickly as possible.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen says LaHood told him the Department of Transportation has established an interagency task force to expedite the permitting process for the bridge repair. The wife of a Canadian trucker whose rig caused the collapse of a Washington bridge says a special vehicle called a pole car had travelled the route to make sure the load would fit.

The state confirmed there was a vehicle escort for the load.

Cynthia Scott, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, says she spoke with her husband, Bill Scott, moments after he saw the bridge fall into a river in his rear-view mirror.

The Washington State Patrol says the oversize load of drilling equipment hit an upper support girder on the bridge.

Cynthia Scott says there was a small ding in one of the front corners of the load.

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