Here's a quick Gallery of The State Farm Traffic Divas (no professionals were harmed during this photo shoot)
We are compiling some of the best quotes from state & national officials as well as loal media regarding the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge. While we are not trying to make light of the situation, we also recognize humor when we see it. Keep in mind, these are quotes given during press conferences, news interviews, etc. and are meant to be serious.......enjoy.....
Gov Inslee - "we want to discourage drivers from crashing their trucks into state bridges."........apparently that needed to be said.
Another quote from Inslee "we are focused like laser beams on detours at the moment."....would saying "we are very focused on detours" not have gotten the point across. All I can think of is Dr. Evil and Sharks with fricking laser beams on their heads...
Here is another gem from Debbie Hersman, Chairman of NTSB, they "don't expect Interstate bridges to drop into the water below them." Seems that would be the purpose of a bridge.....to remain intact, above the water.....
According to the DOT; "to clarify, functionally obsolete doesn't have anything to do with structural integrity".......but it doesn't sound good
Unnamed reporter asked a witness who was looking at the bridge- When you look up at the bridge right now; what do you think? The witness' response, well, I think it's gone. To which the reporter then asked if she goes over the bridge often. The witness then said, yeah, I drive over it everyday. The reporter's last question was this; are you worried about driving over that bridge right now? The witness' response; it's not there.
Another unnamed reporter asked a bystander and his son if they were thankful to not be on the bridge.......you can't make this stuff up.
Q13 Anchor declares ‘All Hands on Dick’ Situation at Skagit Bridge Collapse...simple slip of the tongue, but it's still funny.
One thing we have learned is that social media & the desire to be first to report something causes incorrect information to be reported without confirmation; here are some examples:
A news outlet reported witnesses saw a blanket being placed over what could have been a body; this was actually a person who was rescued with a thermal blanket on them.
Other sources reported that there were bodies floating down the river.....it was the inside of a mattress........
Now, just for fun, here are some gems from our favorite tweeter @alexssn
No, but seriously, maybe don't crash your trucks into bridges.
Let's go bridgeless. Ballsy tactic, but it just may work. RT @komonews DOT: No intent at this time to rebuild the entire bridge
We could also just post a sign on I-5 that reads, "Gap ahead. It's really not that big of a gap. Don't bitch out."
On a side note; Google maps is now missing a chunk of I-5 over Skagit River. They're quick!!
Last night around 7pm, part of the I5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed into the water, carrying 2 cars and 3 people with it. Amazingly, within a few hours, all three people had been rescued safely, and there were no fatalities. Looking at the mangled steel beams in the water, it seems like a miracle.
Since the event, there has been a ton of speculation, there have been guesses as to what exactly happened, and a lot of misinformation floating around. So, here is a bullet list of everything we have confirmed so far. (Photo: Jessie Barnhart/KOMO)
EVENT INFO: Updated 11:05am Friday
-Around 7pm last night, roughly a quarter of the I5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed, sending 2 vehicles into the water. 3 people were rescued within hours of the incident, therewere no fatalities.
-Dan Sligh and his wife were in one vehicle. He said he escaped with some cuts and bruises, and was taken to the hopsital as a precaution. He also said his wife suffered some internal bleeding, but was also going to be fine. Third victim is already home from the hospital as well.
-Crews are still investigating what caused the bridge to crumble. WSDOT has NOT confirmed what caused the collapse, although they have stated that they are investigating a semi that witnesses claimed hit multiple girders.
-WSP Trooper Mark Francis said that Troopers found the semi believed to have hit multiple girders on the bridge just before it fell. The driver is cooperating with investigators. In this video, though, WSP Chief John Batiste does say that the cause was the semi. Still, a DOT investigation is happening, so it has not been confirmed by all parties.
-The semi in question was from Canada, traveling to Vancouver, BC. The trucking company, Mullen Trucking out of Alberta, says received a state-issued permit to carry its oversized load across the Skagit River bridge.
-Google Maps already has updated their system to show that the bridge does not actually cross the water.
ABOUT the BRIDGE: Updated 8:01am Friday
-The bridge was built in 1955, it was inspected twice last year, the last time being in November.
-According to the National Bridge Inventory Database:
-Deck condition rating: Satisfactory Condition
-Superstructure condition rating: Fair Condition
-Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory Condition
-Structural Evaluation: Somewhat better than minimum adequacy to tolerate being left in place as is.
-Sufficiency rating: 57.4 (out of 100)
-Status: Functionally Obsolete. (According to the DOT's definition of 'functionally obsolete': “…A bridge can be categorized functionally obsolete a number of ways like having substandard lane widths, or narrow shoulders. Another example would be a bridge that doesn’t have enough vertical clearance for large trucks to pass under, causing repeat hits and damage to the bridge.”)
DETOUR INFO: Updated 11:06am Friday
The detours are, as they always are, not ideal. We just got word of construction on SR9, north of Arlington with traffic alternating in ONE lane. We've also been told by the DOT that they have reports of a commuter from Bellingham to south of downtown Mt Vernon taking 70 minutes. Essentially, at the moment, its sit in heavy traffic on I5, or sit in heavy traffic on SR9. We want to stress that this seems to change every few minutes, so be prepared for whatever. We would budget an extra hour if we were traveling that way.
Here is detour info from the DOT: "I-5 is closed in both directions in Skagit County south of Burlington. Traffic is being diverted off southbound I-5 at Exit 230. For an alternate route, take eastbound SR 20, then south on S. Burlington Blvd. and west on E. College Way (SR 538) to southbound I-5. Northbound I-5 traffic must exit at Exit 227. An alternate route is east to E. College Way to northbound Riverside Drive-S. Burlington Boulevard, then west on George Hopper Road to I-5. To use SR 9 as an alternate northbound route, bypassing Mount Vernon, take Exit 221 at SR 534 east to northbound SR 9 to SR 20 westbound to I-5."
SB is forced off I5 at Exit 230
NB is forced off I5 at Exit 227
REPLACEMENT PLANS: Updated 9:32am
-Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted that the federal government will be putting $1 million of emergency fund towards the bridge replacement. Inslee says after speaking with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday morning, they figure the replacement brigde will cost $15 million. Sec. LaHood has promised full support to get this fixed ASAP.
Here is the press release from the NTSB (National Traffic Safety Board).
Long story short, everyone is OK, but this is going to seriously complicate our commute for a long time. PLEASE be safe and patient out there.
Another weekend, another round of intense road closures. This weekend... now this is somethin' else. This isn't just a road closure, this has the opportunity to be paralyzing, if you ask me.
MERCER STREET: Mercer Street will be CLOSED between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter from 11pm Friday through 5am Monday.
SR 99: Highway 99 will be CLOSED from Valley Street and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 11pm Friday through 5am Monday.
---> Because of these closures, traffic headed to I5 will be detoured to Denny, making that road a mess as well. Expect heavier volumes, and extremely slow traffic in the area. The cool thing is that come Monday morning, traffic will be able to travel eastbound on Broad for the first time in years near 99! Baby steps, I guess...
We've also got some pretty major events this weekend...
Friday, May 17th
- Seattle Storm vs. Tulsa Shock at Key Arena, 7:00pm
Saturday, May 18th
- Sounds FC vs. FC Dallas at Century Link, 7:30pm
-Seattle University's School of Law Commencement, Key Arena, 10am (this one will be tough!)
-WGU's Commencement Ceremony, Benaroya Hall, 3pm
Sunday, May 19th
- Beat the Bridge race, starting at Husky Stadium. (Route info here)
Here is info from the Beat the Bridge website about closures:
"On Sunday, May 19th, the race begins in front of the Alaska Airlines Arena and runners head south across the Montlake Bridge. The specific street closures and times are as follows:
- Montlake Boulevard south of Pacific - 7:45 - 8:45 a.m.
- 24th, south of Roanoke - no closure
- Boyer, east of Lynn - no closure
- Montlake Place, 19th and Lynn, west of 19th - 8:25 - 9:25 a.m.
- Boyer/Fuhrman, west of Lynn to Eastlake - 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
- Pacific Avenue, from Brooklyn to Montlake - 8:15 - 10:15 a.m.
- Montlake Boulevard, both directions, north of Pacific - 7:30 - 10:00 a.m.
- 45th Ave NE - no closure
- Burke Gilman Trail from 44th to University Hospital - extremely congested 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Please note that, throughout the event, two-way traffic along NE Pacific Avenue will be controlled by Seattle Police, with only one lane available in each direction. Because of the closure on Montlake Boulevard, it will be quite congested in this area and residents should allow plenty of time if using Pacific. On Thursday, May 16, you'll find "No Parking" signs posted along Boyer, West Montlake Place, and Fuhrman which will inform drivers of street closures during the event."
Be safe out there, and PLEASE try and be patient... we'll get through this!