NTSB findings don't end political debate over bridge

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2008 - 8:54 PM

Supporters and critics of the governor and MnDOT find support for views in the report.

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zeldacNov. 14, 08 9:17 PM

Any one with a half a brain should be able to conclude that if you put several hundred tons of extra weight on one section, that section will weaken. The bridge was built for normal traffic patterns. While the gusset plates broke, it was because of the extra weight on one section. For the politicians to look for someone to blame for future political reasons is why we have the sick political climate we do.

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lvonleheNov. 14, 0810:27 PM

If you read the history of the bridge, you will find it was originally FOUR lanes with a walkway? Why do I remember? I walked it. Then, they added two more lanes. Then, they thickened the sub base. All this was done on the original superstructure and NEVER was there an increase in the bolstering of the bridge. These items ALONE pushed the bridge near the edge of safety. It didn't matter that there was a lot of weight on THAT day. It could have been one of those heavy truck cranes on another. Or four heavily loaded trucks on another day. The truth was, it was going to come down due to poor construction and overloading from past years. Oh, BTW, Two people killed on the construction of the Lake Street bridge. One person killed in the upgrade of the 94 bridge. Do you remember them? I bet not. It's time to understand that this was bad bridge and move on. Get big. Be an adult.

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jimbob21aNov. 15, 0810:33 AM

Sigh....The NTSB is correct that the bridge was improperly designed and built. The NTSB is nuts if they think that people will just shrug and say, "Oh well, who could possibly have done anything about it, then?"......The gussett plates were clearly deformed in inspection photographs TAKEN IN 2005!!! You can see them bending!!! There is absolutely no frickin' way that structural behavior like that is normal, AND IT WAS EASILY DETECTABLE TWO YEARS BEFORE THE BRIDGE FELL!!..... For the NTSB to simply conclude that no one currently or recently working for MNDOT could possibly have prevented this is totally absurd.

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mutt10RNov. 15, 08 3:35 PM

In July 2003, there should have been flares going off that the I-35 bridge needed serious weight restrictions or outright closure. To try and foist blame on a design flaw that held for 40 years of inappropriate weight load increases is disingenuous at best. This NTSB report stinks of CYA for Pawlenty's political career.

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mfredricNov. 15, 08 6:10 PM

This conclusion is a logical fallacy. But for the gusset plates the bridge wouldn't have fallen -- Sure, but how about "but for the failure to notice the deficient gusset plates the bridge wouldn't have fallen." How in the world can they ignore such an obvious flaw in their conclusion? This truly smacks of a political snowjob.

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olly_xNov. 16, 08 5:21 PM

We the owners of this bridge pay the government to inspect and maintain it. The inspections were done, and when serious flaws were found in 2005, the concerns fell on deaf ears. Cries for reinforcement fell on deaf ears. If you lived in a cooperatively owned building and the city (on your coin) inspected it and found it unsafe but failed to take action or even publish the results, the city would share blame with the designers if the building collapsed.

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outdrs10Nov. 17, 0810:26 AM

was to determine what caused the bridge to fail. It was the gusset plate that failed. The NTSB did their job, now the lawyers and politicians can do their thing and point fingers to find what could've prevented it.

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duronNov. 17, 08 1:07 PM

Okay folks here's the story, which will more than likely be deleted from the comments board because it's true. The reason and the only reason the bridge collapsed is do to the reconstruction that was taking place at the time of the collapse. When the contractor placed HUNDREDS of TONS of material and equipment on a single seam coupled with the movement of traffic agitated the seam to the point of cracking, diminishing the structural integrity of the bridge to a point of allowing the domino effect to take over, and the rest is history.

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douglynnNov. 17, 08 3:16 PM

To use a small amount of common sense and ask the obvious question here, o.k., the gusset plates failed and caused the bridge to fall, but did they fail simply because they were old and stressed (which was of course documented for years, even more reason for some good old common sense about placing construction loads on the bridge), or did the massive amount of weight consolidated in various locations on the bridge provide the crucial amount of stress to cause their failure?? Where are the load calculations regarding this matter in the conclusions?? Did I miss this in the investigation?

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