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Archive for January 18th, 2008

I-35W bridge downed by design flaw; infrastructure issues fade from headlines

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Buried inside the nation’s news pages — lost among the big takeout stories about which presidential candidate said what to whom with what insulting effect, President Bush’s confusing trip to the Middle East, and surge and resurgence in Iraq and Afghanistan — was the reason 13 people died and 100 were injured when the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed last year.

A weakness built into that bridge went undetected for 40 years because it involved a part so basic that highway departments and bridge contractors seldom considered it even when they reanalyzed a bridge’s capacity, experts said Tuesday.

The flaw: Undersized gusset plates. So, case closed? It wasn’t a portentous sign of a failing national infrastructure after all? Just a sad, tragic miscalculation by an engineer four decades ago?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

January 18, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized