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A Washington T-Shirt Maker Pokes Fun At The Skagit Bridge Collapse


Mid-June: that’s how soon residents may see a temporary fix to the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River near Mount Vernon, Wash.

The bridge collapsed last week when a truck hit an overhead support beam. Two vehicles plunged into the river, but no one was seriously injured.

It is a serious situation – but in the aftermath, a t-shirt company is throwing a little fun into the mix.

Jessica Lynch owns a t-shirt screenprinting company in Skagit County, Wash. Lynch has been selling a Skagit River bridge shirt for years; she loves bridges. So she made an artsy, cute drawing of a bridge truss.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gives states a report card on their infrastructure. Washington state got a C minus this year for its bridges: a fact widely reported on over the last week. When Lynch heard that – hours after the collapse -- she laughed. She immediately thought of her bridge t-shirt.

"I’m like, heck, let’s burn a new screen and put a C minus on it and slap it on the front and we’ll print 'em to order," Lynch says.

She had her new bridge shirt up for sale on her website less than 24 hours after the collapse. Lynch thought she might sell six shirts, maybe a dozen.

At this point, Lynch has sold more than 200 shirts.

While the bridge is down, traffic is being detoured off of I-5 and onto smaller highways, right through nearby towns. Lynch says her initial idea was to give her neighbors a chuckle.

"It effects so much of us more who live here and just want to go to Costco," she says. "It’s a big deal having all these people driving through here. It was more, trying to just put smile on our faces when we’re sitting in a traffic jam."

If anyone had been seriously hurt, she says she would never have made the shirt.

And as for the state’s temporary fix to the bridge: will she be comfortable driving over it?

Lynch jokes that she’ll wait to see what grade the new bridge gets.

Copyright Northwest News Network


In her role as reporter and afternoon news anchor, Sara responds to events as they unfold: from an approaching tsunami to unbearable gridlock during the Alaskan Way viaduct closure. Sara's reporting has covered a range of subjects including the Dalai Lama's Seattle visit, local controversies about racy coffee shops, and the ups and downs of real estate in the Puget Sound region.

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