Chunks from bridge railing strike parked vehicles at OMSI
by: Eric Norberg, Only the rebar within the smashed Marquam Bridge railing and some cyclone fencing kept the loose pipe section from plunging over the side and smashing into the OMSI parking lot below. As it was, chunks of the railing damaged several vehicles in the lot.

A semi hauling a very large section of concrete pipe lost its load at the east end of the Marquam Bridge, southbound on Interstate Five, at about 9 am on Friday, September 15th, and the rolling pipe struck the east railing and nearly demolished it.

The rebar under the concrete railing held, helping keep the pipe on the bridge, but chunks of the railing fell into the north parking lot of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry below, causing damage to several vehicles, but apparently no injuries.

Portland Fire Bureau and ODOT personnel responded to the scene, and closed Interstate Five southbound at that point for hours, causing a monumental traffic jam on the freeway system in the region.

Pending repair of the railing, ODOT personnel reportedly found the bridge otherwise sound, and after cleanup from the crash determined the bridge deck satisfactorily safe to reopen.

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