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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 31, 2013 at 7:59 AM

I-5 bridge collapse

A man sits atop a car that fell into the Skagit River after the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge. (Francisco Rodriguez / The Associated Press)

A man sits atop a car that fell into the Skagit River after the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge. (Francisco Rodriguez / The Associated Press)

Increase price of trucking permitsA Seattle Times article stated that a truck company — even a foreign one — can apply for a permit for overheight trucks on our taxpayer-funded highways for only $10?

If we are looking for more funding for our infrastructure, why are we not considering a raise in this meager payment from companies that do so much harm to our roads and bridges? Another $10 from each permit would probably go a long way in fixing our crumbling roads and bridges. It certainly makes a lot more sense than raising the gas tax. That tax hits the poor and middle-class taxpayers hard [“7 low bridges hold similar risks,” page one, May 29].

It is time the trucking companies that could not do business without our infrastructure contribute more to support it. Yes, I know they pay more for vehicle licenses, but they do much more damage to the roads than the average family vehicle.

The best part of my proposition is that an increase in that fee would not even involve the anti-tax legislators. Those fees are set by the Washington State Department of Transportation. They would be easy to raise.

Arlene Peterson, Medina

Install height beams

The citizens of Washington should understand that there is no evidence that deterioration of the Skagit River bridge caused it to collapse. The bridge collapsed because its design allowed an overheight load to crash into it.

The immediate question is how we can prevent an overheight load from destroying another bridge.

One effective and cheap way to do that is to install beams at appropriate heights across the approaches to our bridges. The beams would forcefully call to the attention of the trucker that his or her load is overheight. Installation of such beams could be done quickly.

It would be a shame if another, perhaps more tragic, accident occurs while the National Transportation Safety Board is carrying out its extensive investigation and analysis.

Ted Yellman, Bellevue

Comments | Topics: bridge collapse, I-5, infrastructure

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