Busy Ritzville Overpass Declared ‘Disaster Area’ After Struck by Truck
After an oversize load struck the bottom of the Danekas Road Overpass near Ritzville July 10th, state officials were forced to reduce it to one-lane alternating travel.
WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) officials said the bridge was hit by a large excavator being towed on a flatbed. The collision knocked loose girders and dislodged a lot of concrete, making the eastbound lanes impassible due to safety factors. Fortunately, the structure did not collapse. No word of what damage was done to the excavator.
Thursday, Gov. Inslee declared the bridge a state of emergency (or disaster area), meaning officials will be able to quickly procure funding to help replace part of the structure. The WSDOT says the entire eastbound lane will have to be dismantled and rebuilt like a new bridge from scratch.
The overpass crosses I-90 just east of Ritzville. It will cost in excess of $740,000 to replace the structure, as that's the dollar amount of the damage.