Washington state Dem cites bridge collapse in call for infrastructure spending increase

The collapse of the portion of the Interstate 5 bridge that runs over the Skagit River last month made national headlines and prompted transportation advocates to call for immediate Congressional action. The bridge collapsed after a truck hit one of its overhead support structures, sending cars plunging into the river.

Larsen said on Tuesday that it was a "blessing" that no one was killed in the I-5 bridge collapse.

"Not all have been so lucky," he said. "My colleagues will remember in 2007 when a bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis crashed down during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring another 145."

Larsen said there are other problems when infrastructure problems arise as well.

"When those bridges fall, it isn’t just the unlucky few on those bridges who suffer," he said. "Whole economies that rely on safe and efficient transportation suffer.

"Over Memorial Day more than 31 million Americans hit the roads," Larsen continued. "I ask my colleagues, were you among them? How many bridges did you drive over? How many were structurally deficient? If you think your constituents should be able to drive over a bridge without wondering whether it will crumble beneath them, then this Congress must act on a long-term transportation bill."