Governor declares State of Emergency in Benton Co. over damage to I-82 overpass

Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee proclaimed a State of Emergency in Benton County on Monday after an over-sized load caused damage to an Interstate 82 overpass.

“Our roads and highways are necessary to keep our economy moving,” Inslee said. “The Washington State Department of Transportation has done everything possible to keep traffic flowing, but we need permanent repairs. This proclamation will free up the resources necessary.”

The incident occurred on Dec. 16th at milepost 114 where I-82 crosses State Route 397 south of Kennewick. Damages are estimated at $1.1 million.

In his proclamation, Inslee added that “the overpass damage and its effects continue to impact the life and health of our citizens, as well as the property and transportation infrastructure of Washington state, all of which affect life, health, property, and the public peace, and constitute a public emergency demanding immediate action.”

The proclamation directs state agencies and departments to utilize resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities respond to and recover from the incident.