25.5.13

NO CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHECKING CLEARANCES.

An out-of-diagram truck hits a bridge beam, and the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in northwestern Washington falls down.  The usual political posturing is well under way.  The reality is probably more prosaic.
An official with Canada-based Mullen Trucking, which employed the truck driver, said state transportation officials had given clearance to take the oversize load across the bridge.

"Hopefully we will get some answers," said Ed Scherbinski, vice president of operations for Mullen Trucking, adding that the company was sending its own investigative team to the scene.

Scherbinski declined to immediately provide the height of the oversize load the trucker was hauling. The truck had been bound for Vancouver, Washington, he said.
Nobody knows, nobody has the primary authority, everybody has the opportunity to blame somebody else for not paying attention. It's enough to make Ayn Rand giggle.

Meanwhile, with this bridge out, and no other public roads capable of handling heavy trucks and oversize loads between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., expect the special pleading to get very loud.

It's unlikely, though, that anyone will suggest that if the trucking companies are to receive the benefit of sturdier bridges, they ought to bear the burden of building them, and perhaps hire the managers responsible for checking clearances.  That's loosely what the Roadmaster does on the railroad.

No comments: