A bridge on Interstate-5, the major U.S. West Coast highway, collapsed into the Skagit River on Thursday evening.
The bridge, north of Seattle, is the major artery for vehicles moving to and from Vancouver and other locations in Western Canada.
The Seattle Times reported the bridge is used by an average 70,000 vehicles per day, 12 percent of which are trucks
. Sean McNally,
press secretary for the American Trucking Associations, said those appeared to be 2007 estimates.
Mike Milne, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said three major border crossings that feed cargo into I-5 had 525,676 southbound trucks in fiscal year 2012: 345,327 at Blaine, 43,387 at Lynden, and 136,962 at Sumas.
Three people were pulled from the river with what were reported to be minor injuries, and there were no fatalities.
Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol said that early indications were that a truck struck the overhead of the bridge causing the collapse.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has posted information about alternate routes here (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/construction/pugetsound/today.htm
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., said Friday that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told him "the Department of Transportation has emergency funds available to aid repairs. The Department of Transportation has established an interagency task force to expedite the permitting process for the bridge repair." - Chris Dupin