The annual downtown traffic jam that is Fleet Week turned into a fiasco this afternoon when the Steel Bridge got stuck for 45 minutes while lifting up to let a U.S. Navy destroyer through.
That meant that from about 4:15 pm to 5 pm—the heart of rush hour—the double-decker Steel Bridge lost power and was closed to car, bus, MAX train and freight train traffic. Worse, the bridge was stuck mid-lift, so the USS Dewey couldn't get through, either.
Which leads to the pressing question: Wait, the city's bridges can get stuck?
Apparently so. The Steel Bridge, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, is operated by Union Pacific Railroad in partnership with TriMet. Union Pacific spokesman Aaron Hunt tells WW that the railroad doesn't know what caused the power outage.
"We're still investigating what exactly happened," Hunt said. "There was some kind of malfunction with the power. We're still looking at what exactly that was."
If you're fuming over a horrific commute, look on the bright side. You could be a bridge operator.