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MN Bridge Collapse Report Concludes, Blames Design

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:48 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Auto Accidents, Bridge Collapse, Minneapolis Bridge Collapse, National Infrastructure, Defective Bridges, Wrongful Death

NTSB issues final conclusion about why the MN bridge collapsed



IMAGE SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons/ MN I-35 bridge, August 14, 2007 / U.S. Navy Photo


It’s been more than a year since the I-35 Bridge into Minneapolis shuddered and collapsed during evening rush hour, killing 13, and injuring 145.   

Now the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is close to issuing it’s a final report on the cause. A two-day hearing, currently underway,will conclude with a final ruling from the NTSB on Friday.

Federal officials point to design errors in too-thin steel plates, called the U-10 gusset plates that connect beams vital to the structure.

The I-35W Bridge collapse on August 1, 2007, was a wake-up call for a national infrastructure that is past middle age and needs federal attention.

The I-35 Bridge was 40-years-old and deemed to be “structurally deficient” two years earlier.

Repairs were underway, traffic had been reduced from eight to four lanes and rush hour traffic was slowed to 10 miles-per-hour when the bridge started to shake.

In January, an interim NTSB report pointed to 16 fractured gusset plates on the bridge. The plates were designed at half the thickness to do the job of connecting the structural steel beams.

The safety board chair, Mark Rosenker called that a “critical factor” in the design error, something that would not have been noticed by safety inspectors.

A live webcast allows viewers to hear and see the meeting.

States are now on alert to ramp up inspections and maintenance of the nation’s aging infrastructure and during his campaign, President-elect Obama cited the Minneapolis bridge collapse as a call for attention to crumbling highways, bridges and tunnels.

The Senate has yet to act on a bill passed by the House last July, authorizing an additional $1 billion to rebuild deficient bridges.  If there is no action on the bill, the process will start again in January. 

The cost of the I-35 span alone is said to be $400 million. 

Compensation for the 13 people killed had reached a sticking point earlier this year when Minnesota lawmakers proposed giving $300,000 to settle each action.  Individuals requiring more would have to sue the state. That was later raised to up to $400,000 each to settle avoiding trial.

Individuals more severely injured had the right to sue the state and try and recover more under a supplemental worst-case $12.6 million fund.  In that case, a $1 million liability cap would be waived. #


Anonymous User
Posted by joshua
Friday, November 14, 2008 11:10 AM EST

wow i cant beleave that happen

Posted by John
Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:51 AM EST

I saw a post on this on LINK today.

Comments for this article are closed.

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