Lawmaker: Washington state getting $15M for bridge collapse repair

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The portion of the Interstate 5 that runs on a bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed last month after a truck hit one of its overhead support structures, sending cars plunging into the river.

Despite the fact that the I-5 bridge collapse was caused by a truck, Larsen and other transportation advocates have seized upon the incident to argue for more spending on road and transit projects.

Larsen said on the floor of the House earlier this week that the bridge collapse showed Congress should appropriate more money for transportation projects because "we can’t keep waiting until [bridges] crumble into the water below."

"We know how to build safe bridges," Larsen said. "There are thousands of civil engineers devoting their lives today to building good structures that don’t fall down. But we need to pay for them. We need to maintain our bridges until they are old, and then we need to replace them."

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the I-5 bridge collapse, said on Wednesday that the driver of the truck that caused the collapse told investigators that he moved to the lane closest to the bridge’s support structure because he felt "crowded" by other vehicles on the roadway.