I-35W bridge tragedy may yield new rules

  • Article by: KEVIN DIAZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2008 - 11:13 PM

Tighter oversight is urged after a federal panel found skipped calculations set the disaster in motion.

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aceofdiamondNov. 14, 0810:39 AM

If so, I blame her. She should have caught that design flaw. Shameful.

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norsskenNov. 14, 0810:46 AM

"Gusset plates are not really designed in the sense that on analysis they satisfy certain design criteria. Instead, the number of fasteners required in each of the connecting members is determined and the plate is simply made large enough to accomodate them." The above is a quote from my college structural steel design text, copyright 1972.

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mnmichael41Nov. 14, 0811:31 AM

Epperson is a disinterested party. He knows nothing about the history of this bridge. Sverdrop & Parcell engineered a 4 lane bridge across the river. Their engineering seal covers the bridge that they designed and built. MNDOT created the 10 lane monster that colapsed. Anyone care to speculate the additional weight added to the bridge? MNDOT bridge design engineers had several opportunitys to increase the structure of this bridge. They did not. A key time to add an additional truss to each side of the bridge would have been in 1990 when they added 2 lanes on both sides of the bridge. They could have ordered engineering changes to the gusset plates at the time that they widened the bridge. They did not. Sverdrop & Parcell's bridge met specifications and they were paid. MNDOT expanded and underdesigned the bridge that went down. It seems convienient to blame dead engineers that you can't file suit against. I hope someone forwards this posting to the attorneys representing the victims. Michael

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kdhlorettoNov. 14, 0812:02 PM

The engineers that design the specific details of structural supports is human, and always subject to error. A checking system seems to now be in place for this in the future. Also a system for inspections that also cover design flaws has not been part of inspecting existing bridges. This should be a priority.

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mickeymantleNov. 14, 08 4:02 PM

but because technology has progressed and there are new types of bridges that require less maintenance. with all the cracks in the concrete, I bet it will take more maintenance.

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twilliams55Nov. 14, 08 4:40 PM

Better start reviewing the "design" elements as well as the physical condition of all bridges built since...correction; all bridges that have been built.

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hahaha99Nov. 14, 08 5:15 PM

Pawlenty and Molnau are not off the hook in my opinion. In December of '06 and January of '07, MnDOT engineers openly questioned the stability of the bridge and whether or not it could collapse without warning. Who knew what and when during those discussions?

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mutt10RNov. 14, 08 5:31 PM

Pawlenty and Molnau should definately not be off the hook. Neither should URS. Gusset plates are not designed to be bent - bends mean resistance to compression forces transfered by the trusses was dangerously compromised. That fact should have led to a decision to close the bridge.

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birdpeepNov. 14, 08 6:11 PM

Out on all bridges in the state checking all the gusset plates and recalculating the designs of all the bridges in the state? Democrats would have done this if they had built it. What's that you say? Democrats DID design and build it? It doesn't matter! It's still Pawlentys and Molnaus fault!

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birdpeepNov. 14, 08 6:19 PM

Is that a copyright from Marvel Comics? Or did you leave out a whole lot of text? By your exerpt that plate could have been made out of cardboard!If you are a licensed engineer,throw that book away before you kill someone!

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