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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 6, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Interstate 5 bridge collapse

Alert drivers of overheight loads faster

A Seattle Times editorial advocates creating additional procedures and warnings to avoid another bridge collapse, despite the fact that Washington state bridges were hit “at least 59 times between 2010 and 2012.”

Procedures and warnings are usually harmless enough, but as this history amply illustrates, they are a second-rate defense against safety problems [“Editorial: Prevent bridge collapse,” Opinion, June 3].

Bridges should be provided with a more immediate and foolproof way of alerting drivers that their loads are overheight. There are a couple of good ways to do this, such as suspending a beam from cables across and above the roadway, or detecting overheight loads with a laser beam which, when interrupted, triggers a large flashing red light.

This would be an exciting challenge for some imaginative young engineers.

Ted Yellman, Bellevue

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

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