Charter bus fire damaged I-5 overpass

WSDOT photo of charter bus fire on I-5

SEATTLE (AP) — The Columbian Way overpass of Interstate 5 was damaged in a spectacular charter-bus fire in January that forced the Stanford University track team to run for the roadside.

The Seattle Times reports that intense heat melted a steel maintenance hatch and small amounts of concrete flaked away, leaving three rods of steel rebar exposed.

Black char marks remain on the bottom and sides of the overpass. Damage is limited to a single span in the southbound off-ramp that curves toward Beacon Hill — directly over the right northbound lane of mainline I-5.

Bridge inspectors say the ramp is safe to drive. About 5,300 vehicles a day use the overpass.

Stanford’s track team was on its way to a meet at the University of Washington when the bus caught fire.

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