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TriMet: Taxpayers won't pay for light-rail crash

by: KOIN 6 NEWS - Crews work to remove a 173,000-pound concrete I-beam, intended for light-rail bridge construction, that fell onto Interstate 5 on Tuesday. The I-beam is 150 feet long.Despite an accident that left a massive concrete-and-steel beam on the Marquam Bridge, TriMet officials do not expect any delays in the construction of the Milwaukie light-rail transit project.

A semi-truck, carrying a concrete I-beam intended for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, overturned on the Marquam Bridge during rush hour Tuesday afternoon. That falling beam crushed a nearby car which then caught on fire.

The woman in the car suffered a minor injury and was later released from a hospital.

TriMet officials told KOIN 6 News they do not own the girders and I-beams until they are delivered, inspected and approved. The beams are contracted by the company doing the work, then subcontracted by another company. A delivery service is used to get the I-beam to the site. This beam was en route to the Tillamook Branch Bridge.

The manufacturer of the I-beam retains ownership until it is on the site and approved, TriMet officials said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation approves all travel permits.

I-5 was shut down for about 14 hours at the Marquam Bridge as officials deconstructed the beam into more movable chunks. The highway re-opened early Wednesday morning.

Two more girders for the Milwaukie light-rail project were moved along I-5 on Wednesday morning. Four more are expected later Wednesday, pending ODOT approval.



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