USBC News Wire. Seattle, WA. On Thursday, May the 23rd, a 160-foot section of a four lane bridge just north of Seattle collapsed. While only three people were injured, some are suggesting the incident could have been much worse. The bridge collapsed around 7 PM PST, thereby avoiding rush hour traffic, but the loss of the bridge will make travel difficult for commuters, locals, and businesses which have come to rely on the passage across the Skagit River.
It is unclear why the bridge was allowed to fall in a state of repair which allowed a catastrophic collapse, since the Obama administration pushed through a $787 billion economic stimulus package as one of his first acts. The stimulus was criticized by many for failing to address the underlying problems with the economy at the time, and many feared the money would have been better spent in the private sector.
Titled, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Obama touted the virtue of the act, as a way of providing “shovel ready” jobs to Americans, who were struggling during an economic downturn. Many are pointing to the bridge collapse as an example of mismanagement and inefficiency of the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package. In a weekly YouTube address on November 22nd, 2008, Obama explicitly stated that “We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges,” and stating that the package would represent a “two-year nationwide effort to jump-start job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy.”
Unfortunately, the bridge fell into disrepair despite the $787 billion dollar stimulus package, leading many to question where the money was spent.
An estimated 67,000 drivers cross the Skagit River where the bridge collapsed on Thursday. It is not clear how quickly the bridge can be repaired, or replaced.