Bridge Trouble

A Washington citizen is raising the alarm about support beams for a bridge over the Columbia warping and bending.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Some of the metal supports on the Lewis and Clark Bridge that spans the Columbia River between Rainier and Longview are not the straight rods they used to be. Instead, they’re starting to warp and people traveling across the bridge have noticed. 

Longview resident Amund “Rocky” Taylor posted pictures of the twisted beams to Facebook where many people wondered if the bridge was safe to use. 

Taylor said he has some serious concerns about the bridge’s safety. He fears it could collapse at any time and has been passing out flyers to let his neighbors know about the warped beams he’s noticed on the bridge. In one area on the Washington side, he said he’s seen six beams bending.

He’s also worried because he can see the beams moving as cars drive across the bridge.

Washington state was home to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that failed spectacularly under high winds shortly after opening in 1940.

This article caught my attention because on a couple of different nights last week I noticed crews inspecting the beams under a tall freeway interchange over the Willamette River, apparently working their way across the span. I was impressed by their boom lift so I took some video, most of which appears lost except for this blurry clip.

The first time I saw them my conspiratorial mind went to work watching three men in a lift wearing flashlight-helmets, bustling like ants with antennae feeling their way across the trestle-like structure. The next night I saw them in a different spot, suggesting it’s inspection time for the whole span.

update: I forgot I actually tweeted this:

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