Spokane, WA Bridge Work Collapses, July 1910



At 4 o'clock this afternoon it was found that the net result of the accident on the new Monroe Street bridge was two men badly hurt, all work above the water's edge destroyed, and thousands of dollars of the city's money gone into the swirling rapids.
Names of injured:
J. F. WALPERS, East 1024 Rich Avenue; broken ribs and lacerated scalp.
A. M. NELSON, 822 Broadway; bad bruises.
The two injured men were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. The ruins of the false work are being searched for more men but it is thought only two men were on it at the time of the accident.
It is reported that the city will lose about $50,000, in time and materials, and not counting damage suits. The work destroyed has taken three or four months to finish.
During the storm this afternoon the new wooden arch of the Monroe Street bridge, erected after months of labor, collapsed and went to the bottom of the river, carrying down with it two men, one of whom was seriously hurt.
During the building of the arch, which consists of timber intended to support the concrete in the bridge proper, the engineers in charge, Kennedy and Green, were frequently asked for the lines by the men, but never given. When the framework reached the top of the arch, where it should have come together nicely, the two ends were nearly a foot apart. The bridgemen were ordered by the engineers to patch it up some way, and the diverging parts of the bridge were brought together.
Today when the high wind came, the men of the bridge were caught without warning. The weak structure was unable to stand the strain and collapsed in a heap, carrying down such of the men as were on the top of the arch.
Two men have been removed from the wreckage, one of them badly hurt. It is reported that three or four others are at the bottom of the heap.
Soon after the arch fell the bridgemen employed on the job prepared to call the roll to see how many of their fellows were missing.
The city has been at work on the arch for two or three months. The arch represented the bulk of the showing thus far made on the bridge.
One of the highest winds and heaviest thunder showers in the city's history sprang up suddenly about 2 o'clock this afternoon, ending the dry period, which has stretched over about three months. The cutting of the electric power cables across the river, by the fall of the bridge work, destroyed the power facilities for some little time, and delayed the publication of all the afternoon newspapers.

The Spokane Press Washington 1910-07-21