A Senate Appropriations panel, chaired by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), will hold a hearing this Thursday to examine the collapse of the I-5 bridge, which occurred May 23 just north of Seattle. The hearing will also consider that incident in the context of the overall status of the nation's transportation infrastructure issues.
Two witnesses are currently scheduled to testify at the hearing: Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and U.S. Department of Transportation Under Secretary for Policy Polly Trottenberg.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, the collapse occurred after a semitruck struck steel supports on the bridge and caused it to fall into the Skagit River below. The bridge, which carries more than 70,000 vehicles each day, serves as a major commercial route between the state and Canada.
The hearing, formally titled "Crumbling Infrastructure: Examining the Challenges of our Outdated and Overburdened Highways and Bridges," is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The hearing will be webcast live at www.appropriations.senate.gov.