Letter: ‘The Interstate Bridge Replacement program has presented three dangerous I-5 Bridge options’


Seattle resident Bob Ortblad encourages the choice of a safer crossing option

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com

As our roads are covered with ice, the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program has presented three dangerous I-5 Bridge options. All three options will have a steep (4 percent) bridge grade, plus a 7 percent off-ramp grade to SR-14. These will be extremely dangerous when coated with ice. 

Bob Ortblad MSCE, MBA
Bob Ortblad MSCE, MBA

The IBR program has repeatedly promised “data-driven” analysis. The IBR must employ highway safety experts and insurance actuaries to calculate the number of deaths and injuries over the hundred-year-life of their bridge options.

We can’t change the weather but we can choose a safer crossing option. An immersed tunnel is protected from the weather and would also be many times safer when the Cascadia earthquake hits. 

Gothenburg, Sweden is the world’s most sustainable city and has long snowy winters. Gothenburg completed its second immersed tunnel in 2020 and its two tunnels have 180,000 weather-protected daily crossings.

Bob Ortblad MSCE, MBA
East Seattle

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