Idaho Bridge Collapses, Investigation Starts

October 30, 2008

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Idaho Department of Transportation have begun investigating what caused a bridge under construction in Nampa to collapse.

More than a dozen workers from an Eastern Washington construction company were sent to local hospitals on Oct. 27, 2008, when a slab of the bridge gave out. The 14 workers injured during the accident were on top of the structure pouring concrete when it fell. They dropped about 30 feet.

Of the five construction workers brought to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, two were still in the hospital on Oct. 28 with one in serious condition.

The state Transportation Department contracted a Spokane, Wash. company, Graham Construction and Management, earlier this year to replace two bridges in southwestern Idaho as part of a $8.5 million project to widen Interstate 84.

The company is working with the state to investigate the cause of the accident, Graham President Doug Sherow said Monday during a news conference at the Nampa construction site.

Work on the two bridges began in September. Construction has been suspended while state and federal agencies try to determine the cause of the accident.

Nampa Deputy Fire Chief Doug Strosnider said one of the injured workers had a broken back. The fire department is not identifying the workers who were injured.

“A lot of folks were on that bridge and rode it down,” Strosnider told the Idaho Statesman.

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