MOUNT VERNON -- The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the reasons for the collapse of a 160-foot section of the Skagit River Bridge in the coming weeks and months.
But if the collapsed span is rebuilt, it would be rebuilt to the standards that were in place at the time of the collapse, said the secretary of state transportation Lynn Peterson.
"Under current fiscal constraints, there is no intent to rebuild this bridge," Peterson said.
Other bridges score lower on a safety scale than the Skagit River Bridge did before its collapse, she said.
Even a temporary fix could be weeks away, as local and federal officials search for a World War II era temporary structure to bridge the span between Mount Vernon and Burlington.
Officials urged patience in Skagit County and regional populations as temporary routes are determined.
"There will be substantial delays," Inslee said. "... We will see if there is damage to the remaining spans. That work started immediately last night within an hour of collapse."
Repair funds will come 90 percent from federal and 10 percent from state coffers, he said.
NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman said it could take a week to 10 days for the initial investigation into the bridge collapse, but some may stay longer.
The investigation with the NTSB, Washington State Patrol and the Washington Department of Transportation can operate parallel to bridge replacement efforts, Hersman said.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray encouraged people to continue to visit and shop in Skagit County.
"Everyone wants to make sure traffic is moving on this incredible important corridor, but who is really going to be hurting is those wonderful small businesses who are counting on people to come to their stores," Murray said. "Those businesses are open they are looking to our state."
Sen. Maria Cantwell said a four-day closure of I-5 in Lewis County cost the state economy about $47 million.
"We are a hub of trade and commerce between us and Canada," Cantwell said. "This is one of the biggest crossings in the entire United States, and if it's closed it will impact the economy and commerce between our two countries."
Inslee said it was too early to tell if the bridge's collapse can be used to increase its flexibility with any future community flood protection plans.
"The one lesson I think we should know right now we want to discourage drivers from crashing their trucks into state bridges," Inslee said.