Bridge collapse that killed one has ties to Okanagan

The collapse of two pedestrian bridges under construction at a North Carolina college has links to the Okanagan.

The collapse of two pedestrian bridges under construction at a North Carolina college has links to the Okanagan.

The bridge, part of an expansion project at Wake Tech Community College, near Raleigh, NC, used gluelam stringers made by Structurlam Wood Products as part of the design of the 76-metre bridge.

Four men were injured and one killed, falling a dozen metres into the wetland the pedestrian bridge was supposed to cross, on Nov. 13 when the central span collapsed. No one was injured when a second bridge of identical design collapsed later.

“It’s going to be an investigation that goes on for a while,” said Structurlam president Bill Downing, adding that it is a struggle for the company to work through this. “It was unfortunate that there was a couple of injuries and a loss of life there, and our condolences to those folk, but I can’t speculate as to anything that happened there.”

Murvyn Kowalsky, a professor of structural engineering at NC State, is reported as saying the cause is related to a problem with the design or with the construction.

The accident happened while concrete was being poured for the 40-metre centre section of the bridge by the contractor, Raleigh-based J.O. Concrete. Photos of the accident scene show the Structurlam girders whole and unbroken.

Downing points to Structurlam’s long reliability record for their products.

“Nothing of ours has ever broke in 52 years,” said Downing. “We do lots of pedestrian bridges.”

North Carolina’s Occupational Safety and Health division is handling the investigation, which could take six months to be completed and for any possible citations to be issued.


Just Posted

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read