Bridge collapse spurs Congress to examine infrastructure

Bridge collapse spurs Congress to examine infrastructure
SEATTLE -- The fallout from the Skagit River Bridge collapse will head to the nation's capital on Thursday when Sen. Patty Murray brings up the issue of America's crumbling infrastructure.

As work continues on a temporary span to get the Skagit River Bridge reopened to traffic, there's also a sense of urgency in Washington D.C.

Murray called a Thursday hearing to asses America's infrastructure challenges and the safety issues they bring.

Murray, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, hailed the work of first responders soon after the collapse.

"Having to deal with transportation issues is difficult," she said. "It could have been a lot worse. It wasn't worse because of the great folks who are on the ground -- our safety patrols and everybody else who were immediately there to prevent a further disaster."

Thursday's hearing will focus on potential further disasters and what can be done to stop them from happening.

Murray says the nation's infrastructure is crumbling, and she's not the only Washington state politician to say so. Rep. Rick Larson has also called on Congress to make a move.

"Should not Americans be able to drive across a highway bridge with a reasonable expectation that it will not crumble away underneath them?" Larson said.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board said the semi driver who hit the bridge felt crowded by a passing vehicle so he moved to the right and hit the overhead portal and sway braces.

Crews hope to have the temporary bridge span open to traffic sometime next week.