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Monday, August 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane construction firm fined over bridge collapse

By Associated Press

NAMPA, Idaho – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a Spokane company $25,200 following the collapse last fall of a bridge under construction in southwestern Idaho.

The federal agency issued the penalty to Graham Construction and Management, saying it failed to follow safety procedures concerning a temporary framework built to support the bridge.

The company is contesting the fines that were issued in March, saying its investigation found that prefabricated bridge girders it did not build led to the collapse that injured 14 workers.

The workers fell about 30 feet in the collapse, and one suffered a broken back.

Jerry Hockett, area director for OSHA, told the Idaho Statesman a hearing date has not been set concerning the fines.

The federal agency issued four citations in all, each carrying a fine of $6,300. Specifically, it said the company failed to adequately build or inspect the temporary framework built to hold up the bridge before it was moved into place over Interstate 84. The collapse happened at the construction staging area, not over the freeway.

The Idaho Transportation Department conducted two investigations and agreed with OSHA that the temporary framework failed, causing the collapse.

The department contracted with Graham Construction last year to replace two bridges in southwestern Idaho as part of an $8.5 million project to widen Interstate 84.

Work began in September but was temporarily suspended while agencies investigated the accident.

An official at Graham Construction declined to comment to the Associated Press on Thursday, citing restrictions in the company’s contract with the Idaho Transportation Department.

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