Friday, November 14, 2008


Speaking of bridges, here's a blurb from today's New York Times (in its entirety):

Bridge Collapse Is Laid to Design Flaw

Published: November 14, 2008

The Minneapolis Interstate bridge that collapsed Aug. 1, 2007, dropping 108 feet into the Mississippi River and killing 13 people, had cracks in its welds and rust in many places, the staff of the National Transportation Safety Board said. But building up to a conclusion that is not so obvious and not likely to go down well in all quarters, the board’s engineers said those problems had nothing to do with the collapse. Instead, they said, the cause was a design error made in 1965 and a national bridge maintenance system that was not set up to detect such flaws. The design problem, investigators said, was that gusset plates, the poster-sized sheets of steel that tie the girders together, were too thin and gave way when a contractor put tons of equipment and repair materials over one spot.
Need I add that our own Whittier bridge is of the same design? ... Not to alarm you guys or anything ... there's no equipment on there at the moment ....

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