Robinson bridge collapse sends 13 to area hospitals
The deck slab that employees of Graham Construction & Management Inc. were working on of just east of Nampa gave way at around 2:15 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 27), dropping approximately 30 feet to the ground. The incident damaged girders and sent 13 people to area hospitals with assorted non-life threatening injuries – primarily broken bones and lacerations.
Five Graham Construction workers went to St. Alphonsus in Boise, four were sent to Mercy Medical Center in Nampa and four were taken to St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Meridian.
Two days after the incident, only two remained hospitalized - one had a spinal fracture but was doing well following surgery, and the other was recovering after surgery for a broken jaw. The project superintendent had a broken ankle that will require surgery in the future, but surgeons need to wait for swelling to subside in the joint.
As of today (Monday, Nov. 3), all had been released.
“We are relieved that no one was seriously hurt by this accident,” said ITD Director Pamela Lowe immediately following the incident. “We will begin immediately to work with the contractor to learn what happened.”
Graham, of Spokane, is the contractor on this $8.5 million project.
ITD brought in two nationally recognized forensic engineering companies – WJE Engineering of Seattle and Parsons Brinckerhoff of Portland – to conduct independent investigations, complete accident reconstruction scenarios and look for possible causes. Both companies have extensive experience in bridge engineering and forensics.
Graham and OHSHA also employed their own investigative units.
“First and foremost, we want to assure that whatever happened, does not happen again,” said Lowe. “The safety of the employees that work on our construction sites has to be of utmost importance. Our thoughts and prayers certainly go out to the workers and their families.”
Work began in late September to replace the I-84 overpasses at Robinson Boulevard and Black Cat Road. The two bridges were demolished on Sept. 26, and before the accident the project was expected to be finished in late January.
The bridge spans are being constructed at a site just off I-84 northwest of the former Robinson Road structure. At the time of the collapse, concrete was being poured for the first of four slabs to form the decks of the bridges.
Work on the project was suspended following the accident, but resumed Tuesday evening for portions of the project not in the immediate area of the collapse. Crews erected the 29-ton bridge support column in the median for the Robinson structure that night – it had been done a few days prior for the Black Cat structure two miles to the west. Abutment and pier work also resumed.