How will bridge collapse upset the local economy?

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SKAGIT VALLEY — Gov. Jay Inslee said Washington state will be “vigorous and diligent” in its efforts to get Interstate 5 — one of the state’s main transportation thoroughfares — open as soon as possible.

Inslee said at a press conference early Friday morning that reopening I-5 after the bridge collapse Thursday became the number one priority once it was discovered all three victims in the bridge collapse would be safe.

“Our hearts are with those who have been injured and we hope to hear good news soon of their speedy recovery,” Inslee said.

Inslee said preliminary reports show a truck hit the bridge and caused it to collapse, but an investigation has been launched to confirm the cause. Inslee urged everyone to use detours while traveling through the area, and to plan for plenty of extra transportation time.

An average of 70,000 cars and trucks travel over the bridge daily. Recently, the bridge was given a rating of 57.4 out of 100.

Now, he said, the focus will begin to shift to rebuilding the bridge.

“We will be involved in a vigorous and diligent effort to get traffic flowing again through the Skagit bridge corridor I will issue an emergency proclamation tomorrow to make sure we have the resources to do so as quickly as possible,” Inslee said. “This is an opportunity for us to pull together to show strength of character and patience and good citizenship as we deal with this disruption.”

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