Friar Bijou wrote:
Wait, is this the I-5 Skagit River Bridge?
No no, that one they've actually made progress on (they have something temporary in place last I heard). If nothing else it's nice to know once the bridges do collapse into the river they can cobble together a replacement in a timely manner.
If it ain't broke don't fix it?
Ahh, and they did "fix" the Skagit river one it looks like. Pretty picture
. Unfortunately if the one Kao was working to replace fell into the river we almost certainly wouldn't get out of it with as few problems as the Skagit bridge. The Skagit river is small, and only a few feet deep. No one needs to drown there. The Columbia river though, well the barges that navigate the river are pretty big.
The temporary span is done for Skagit, they're starting building the permanent replacement shortly. I can't divulge much on that particular bridge besides what's publically known aside to say that some bridge inspector was epicly fired, and you will be hearing more about that one in the news soon. I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.
The Columbia River I-5 bridge between Oregon and Washington on the other hand,is definitly not in ideal shape. The two spans were completed 50 years apart, one in the early 1900's and one in 1965. The older one, to the east is sitting on timber pilings. These pilings do not go down to bed rock. They are 100 years old, in soft, wet acidic soil. They were installed before we really knew what Creosote was. The soil type is known to be prone to liquifaction
during earthquakes, and the bridge is about oh, half a mile give or take from a major, major fault line that is overdue for a major earthquake, and is the one that dropped the entire washington and oregon coastline 6 feet back in the 1700's. To further make things fun, the bridge counterweights at the top of the towers were quadrupled in weight in the 1980's. To make matters even more fun, the entire bridge is a rusty mass of acidic bird ****, most of the access ladders and causways have rusted away to unusability.
So we have a narrow, extremely top heavy old frail bridge that will fall over in any large earthquake. We can't even reinforce the bridge piers because it would narrow the shipping channel and the coast guard vetoed that. The bridge has already been hit by at least 30 barges over the years. So yeah. I do not envy whoever is on that thing when the earthquake happens...