Thursday, August 02, 2007


The bridge collapse over the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul is one of those incredible sights you stare at with almost disbelief! We drove that road many times. It isn't so much "that could have been us" as it is how awful it was for those who experienced it.

I've often driven under bridges or overpasses and looked up at the massive girders and thought how overbuilt they must be. No doubt today brings some serious soul-searching on the part of those who designed, approved, inspected and built it.

There was reasonable coverage here on MSNBC. Someone did wonder out loud if the reason it fell was traffic was bumper-to-bumper at the time. No. That ignores the fact that 2 of the 4 lanes were shut down. I have to believe when you design a bridge you design it for 4 lane bumper-to-bumper traffic (weight) AND snow (up north) then multiply the capacity substantially beyond that.

In an earthquake area you'd at least have a reason. In the case of a barge hitting a support you'd have a reason. I wonder how much forensic analysis can be done under all that debris!

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