There's word this morning that the bridge that collapsed yesterday evening near Mount Vernon had outlived its design. The status of the Interstate-5 bridge over the Skagit River was "functionally obsolete," according to the National Bridge Inventory Database.
That doesn't necessarily mean the bridge was unsafe, just that its design doesn't measure up to current use. The bridge opened in 1955, a year before Congress passed the law creating the Interstate Highway System. Three people were rescued after their cars plunged into the nearly-freezing river when the bridge collapsed.