MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says federal officials are searching the country for a possible temporary replacement for a bridge that collapsed along the crucial Interstate 5 corridor.
Inslee spoke at a news conference Friday, the day after a truck hauling an oversized load of drilling equipment apparently hit an overhead girder on the major route between Seattle and Canada.
Inslee said federal officials are looking for a pre-fabricated structure to replace the 160-foot section that fell into the Skagit River. If one is found, Inslee said a temporary fix could be in place in weeks. If one can't be quickly secured, the governor it could be months before a replacement can be built.
Initially, it wasn't clear if the bridge just gave way on its own. But at an overnight news conference, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste blamed it on a tractor-trailer carrying a tall load that hit an upper part of the span
It's not terribly uncommon for trucks to strike bridges in Washington state -- it's just that such accidents don't usually cause the structures to collapse.
The state Department of Transportation says there were 21 bridge-strikes involving trucks last year, 24 in 2011 and 14 in 2010.