County council asks for I-5 bridge safety analysis

In the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Maryland on March 26, the Clark County Council is calling for a thorough safety analysis of the Interstate 5 replacement bridge.

The council approved a resolution during Tuesday’s meeting asking officials with I-5 bridge replacement project to conduct a study with “detailed scientific lessons learned from the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse” as well as any additional costs associated with those needs. The resolution also asks that both the analysis and subsequent response be communicated transparently and thoroughly with project stakeholders and the public before construction begins.

Councilor Karen Bowerman said the collision highlighted the need for bridge safety planning to “mitigate and avoid damages related to collisions between watercraft and bridges.”

The resolution said waterways are not unlike highways in that relatively minor collisions between watercraft and bridges are common (about 250 per year across the U. S.) and that collisions involving large ships can cause substantial damage.

“The lack of multiple other corridors across the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon would amplify the damaging aspects and impacts to commerce, recreation, and quality of life caused by the loss of use of the I-5 Bridge following a disaster,” Bowerman said.

To watch the full meeting, go to

— Shari Phiel


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