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I-5 bridge collapse costing Redmond business

By Kandra Kent
Published On: May 28 2013 08:18:06 PM CDT
Updated On: May 29 2013 12:26:52 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent spoke with Central Oregon Truck Company about the economic impacts of the bridge collapse.

REDMOND, Ore. -

Before the I-5 Skagit River Bridge in Washington state collapsed, more than 71,000 vehicles crossed it daily, including several commercial trucks from Central Oregon.

"You try to plan for it the best you can, and minimize it, but it will still impact us. Any dollar you lose is a dollar that's lost forever," said Central Oregon Truck Company President Cale Pearson said Tuesday.

Pearson told NewsChannel 21 they send five to seven trucks loaded with building materials each day to Vancouver, British Columbia, always taking the I-5 route.

Since last week's collapse, his company is paying the price.

"On a trip-by-trip basis, either northbound or southbound, it's about an hour's worth of extra time," Pearson said.

The longer detour means more gas, paying workers for the extra time -- but more importantly, losing loads, he said.

"We have only so many hours we can drive in a day," Pearson said.  "So if the driver, if that extra hour cost him so he couldn't get reloaded, that's where he loses that day of production."

Pearson says he believes that until the bridge is repaired or replaced, the company could lose between $500 and $1,000 each month from lost loads alone. He said the company will likely charge customers more to make up for the losses.

"We run everything by rate-per-mile so $500 adds up a lot," Pearson said.

And with summer building season almost here, Pearson expects they'll send more trucks up to Canada -- all the reason to hope the bridge will soon  be repaired.

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