November 24, 2008 | Dave Janney

MN Bridge Collapse

Hmm…….we’ve moved right into politics & blame….and what does outdated infrastructure have to do with a design flaw?  Are we in need of a better Root Cause Analysis perhaps?

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Serious Design Flaw’ Led to Minnesota Bridge Collapse

Associated Press

November 14, 2008

Federal safety investigators on Thursday pinpointed steel plates in a main truss as the location where the deadly collapse of a Minneapolis bridge last year began.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said Thursday the bridge collapse was unavoidable once the U-10 steel gusset plates failed due to a serious design flaw. They also ruled out corrosion and preexisting cracking as factors.

A two-day board hearing now under way quickly focused on the U-10 gusset plates of the Interstate-35W bridge. The NTSB as far back as January had identified design flaws in the plates as a critical factor in the collapse.

The bridge shuddered and then tumbled into the Mississippi River on Aug. 1, 2007, during evening rush hour, killing 13 and injuring 145. The disaster was seen by many as a wake-up call for a nation that had neglected its infrastructure for too long.

Democrats in Minnesota heaped criticism on the state’s Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty. Democrats in Congress said the accident showed the nation’s roads and bridges were crumbling.

During his campaign for the White House, President-elect Barack Obama cited the Minneapolis bridge collapse and called for spending more on the nation’s crumbling highways, bridges and tunnels.

In July, the House passed legislation authorizing an additional $1 billion next year to rebuild structurally deficient bridges on the national highway system. The bill would also require states to come up with repair plans for troubled bridges.

The Senate has yet to act on the bill. If no action is taken during a lame-duck session that starts next week, lawmakers would have to start anew on the legislation in January.

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