I-5 bridge over the Skagit River has collapsed near Burlington WA.
The USACE is currently conducting general investigation on preliminary alternatives to address flooding in the Skagit River basin.
It is not known at this time what caused the collapse, however, this is a stark reminder of the risks associated when crossing waterways.
The original proposal for the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion was to build a diversion and divert water from the Wild Rice and Red River across 5 rivers, elevation of I-29 for several miles and create a 12.5 mile wide Class 1 High Hazard dam with control structures on the Wild Rice and Red River south of Fargo, ND.
Several discrepancies are associated with the USACE and the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion at a cost north of $2.04 billion.
Safety concerns are paramount for residents and property owners that are impacted by the USACE proposal. The current process has left the impacted stake holders out of the planning and decision process.
Local residents want assurances that failures like the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River don’t become a reality to one of the regions most complex engineering challenges.
The current proposal will allow Fargo, ND the ability to encroach further into the last natural flood plains adjacent to the city further increasing flooding issues and risks to the greater metro area.
** UPDATE 5-24-2013 10:00 am **
Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste cites the collapse was the result of a collision between the tractor-trailer and the overhead structure of the bridge.
The I-5 bridge had been rated “functionally deficient,” according to a federal database. The National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating.
This raises further questions on the safety of the multiple components of the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion.
Annual maintenance costs of $3.6 million have been proposed. What current mechanism is in place to ensure that proper and diligent maintenance is carried out when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has rated, 326 levees in 37 states covering more than 2,000 miles were found to be in urgent need of repair as recently as January 2013.